R. Jared Staudt has written an excellent tribute to the great liturgical reformer, restorer of Gregorian Chant, and defender of the Faith, Dom Prosper Guéranger. I did not know that that the prolific abbot was first a diocesan priest before becoming Benedictine and restoring monastic discipline in post-Napoleonic France. He had almost everything in this world against him. Monasticism had been outlawed for almost half a century by the masonic revolution and by Napoleon. Anti-Papal Gallicanism was in vogue. And the Church in France was only just beginning to rise from the ashes of liberalism and persecution. He had a friend, however, in a high place: Blessed Pope Pius IX. Guéranger was a major force in assisting the pope in his promulgation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and in the First Vatican Council’s definition of Papal Infallibility. More known for his monumental multi-volume work, The Liturgical Year, the holy abbot is less known for his other priceless book, The Papal Monarchy. Both can be purchased from our website bookstore.
R Jared Staudt, Crisis Magazine: Tomorrow, July 11, is the feast of St. Benedict and the anniversary of the refounding of St. Peter’s Abbey of Solesmes, France in 1833 by Ven. Dom Prosper Guéranger and five other priests. Apart from the Benedictines, you may wonder why this event has significance. Solesmes became a great center of renewal for the entire Church and its refounding brought forward a larger than life figure, who would oversee this renewal. Guéranger (1805-1875), originally a diocesan priest, literally saw a local, beloved church in crumbles, a medieval abbey, whose remnants were meant for demolition, and felt a call to restore not only that building, but also to begin a new way of life as a monastic. His response, reminiscent of St. Francis, entailed not only a restoration of one particular building, but a propping up of the Church itself. Read full article here.