Thursday, August 27, 2009

This Sunday's Pilgrimage in Monmouthshire-MICHAELMAS INDULGENCE-Climbing the holy mountain and praying at St Michael's Church.


3pm at the Church of St David Lewis and St Francis Xavier.Walk to the old Priory Church of St Mary (now Anglican) which previous to 16th century was a Benedictine nunnery, and where Father Lewis was buried.
Followed by procession to his tombstone at the Priory Church.

St David Lews' remains were discovered during work to the the priory church by a previous vicar who reverently had them placed near the door of the church. The Jesuits and local Catholics placed a large tombstone there with his last words, that he was innocent of any crime and so he was being killed for professing Christ and it was an honour to do so.Tad y Tlodion, the 'Father of the Poor' was so loved by all the people, that Protestants held his hands when he was hung to spare him the barbaric drawing and quartering and his body thus remained whole and he ws transported to be buried at the Priory Church.

Flowers are placed on the tombstone every day.

St David Lewis' shrine is to be found at St David Lewis and St Francis Xavier's Church in Usk, and a memorial at OLSM in Abergavenny.

Holy Mass was celebrated for the Catholics of Abergavenny throughout the dark days of cruel persecution. The spiritual administration of the district came into the care of the Jesuit Fathers, who had established a seminary and college at The Cwm near Welsh Newton. Saint David I,ewis S.J. (also known as `Fr. Charles Baker') was pastor for thirty-one years. He had been born in Abergavenny. He was assisted for a time by Saint Philip Evans S.J. (`Captain Evans'). Both were Martyred in 1679, following the false allegations of the liar Titus Oates: David Lewis at Usk, and Philip Evans at Cardiff.

Several other Martyrs for the Faith are known to have passed this way, and most likely celebrated Holy Mass when possible, namely, Saint John Lloyd (pastor of the Llanarth area), Saint: John Kemble, Blessed Philip Powell OSB, and Blessed Edward Powell. The Venerable Augustine Baker OSB was born In Abergavenny, and was converted to The True Faith in 1600.


It was to a great extent by his advice and exertions that the Congregation of English Benedictines or Black Monks, after being driven from their monasteries and almost completely suppressed under Edward VI and Elizabeth I, were able to avoid total extinction, and reform in exile with Papal approval, founding monasteries for exiles in such as Paris, Rheims, Dieulouard, Doua, St. Malo, Valladolid, Compostella, and Lamspring. The Pope commissioned these monks in exile "to work hand in hand with the secular clergy for the conversion of England, as new Augustines" , and so a stream of Benedictines were to take part in the secret provision of Mass and the Sacraments for their persecuted brethren in England and Wales, for which many of them lost their lives. Augustine Baker was a great mystic, and the author of `Santa Sophia'. He was also chaplain to the Benedictine nuns of Cambrai.(Father Tom of Abergavenny)


PILGRIMAGE TO OUR LADY, ST MARY OF TINTERN 6th September 2009 (Ecumenical, though catholic usage)3pm


Following the successful dedication of the New Statue of Our Lady at Tintern Abbey, there are exciting plans for a pilgrimage centre to be thrashed out by CADW and the Friends of OUr Lady of Tintern.Abbot Aiden Bellinger of Downside will preach the homily and laity and religious from all over Monmouthshire and surroundings will take part.


The statue, commissioned by the Cistercian Community at Caldey by Abbot Daniel (see the YouTube Video Living Stones of Tintern)was consecrated last year.

Come early and have a pictic lunch at this lovely spot.

VESPERS begins at 3pm.There is a small car parking charge to offset the cost of the day.

You should enter at the OLD abbey entrance (not the gift shop and tourist entrance).
Merchandise will be on sale to raise funds for the next phase.

Salve Regina is always sung and refreshments are in the Village Hall afterwards if required. Sunday 7 SEPTEMBER at 3pm

PLIGRIMAGE TO THE SKYRRID Yskyrrid Fawr-The Skirrid)28th September (if closest to St Michael's Day. Please check with Abergavenny Parish.

PILGRIMAGE TO SAINT MICHAEL'S MOUNT AT MICHAELMAS-Papal Indulgence for those who have attended confession and Holy Mass before hand.

I have written much about Monmouthshire's own Holy Mountain overlooking Abergavenny. In that Catholic worship was unbroken through some very cruel times of persecution, I feel the devotion to the Blessed Michael Archangel has been powerful and the people do well to do this annual pilgrimage. (Another up the mountain takes place on Good Friday)

Devotion to St. Michael the Archangel has been a feature of Catholic life in Abergavenny for many hundreds of years. A Chapel dedicated to him once crowned the eastern summit of The Great Skirrid; indeed, at the time of St. David Lewis, who led hundreds of Catholics there for the annual Michaelmas pilgrimage, the Altar was still intact amidst the ruins. Alas, only a couple of stones now remain, but the Pilgrimage still takes place on the Saturday nearest Michaelmas each year. We preserve a rescript of Pope Clement X which reads:-

"Pope Clement X grants a Pienary Indulgence to those who devoutly visit the Chapel of St. Michael on. the Skirrid Fawr on 29'" September -Michaelmas Day. Anyone making this Pilgrimage and wishing to gain the Indulgence is required, first, to go to Confession and Holy Communion; then, on the Holy Mountain itself, to pray for peace among Christian Princes, for the rooting out of heresies, and for the exaltation of Holy Mother Church. Given at St. Mary Major`s, Rome, under the Seal of the Fisherman, on 20th July 1676, and valid for seven years "

Father Tom OSB of Abergavenny.Please Check the date with him or with the Parish Diary on the website.

Belmont Abbey is also dedicated to st Michael the Archangel.

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