Mass for 900th anniversary of Cistercians


The Archbishop of Armagh, Dr Brady, and Cardinal Cahal Daly joined Cistercian monks at a thanksgiving Mass at Mellifont Abbey, Co Louth, yesterday to celebrate the 900th anniversary of the order and the 850th anniversary of the death of the man responsible for bringing them to Ireland, St Malachy.

Dr Brady was the chief celebrant of the Mass, and the homily was preached by Cardinal Daly. The abbot, Father Bernard O'Boyle, gave thanks at the end of the ceremony, which was attended by monks from the abbey and from England, Scotland and Australia.

The Cistercian Order was founded at Citeaux in Burgundy, France, in 1098 and a monastery was also established at Clairvaux. This was visited by St Malachy, Bishop of Armagh, in 1140, and in 1142 monks from Clairvaux came to Ireland and set up a monastery at Mellifont. There were monks there until Henry VIII closed the monasteries in 1539. A monastery was re-established at Collon in 1938.