The Benedictine way
Benedikt von Nursia (around 480 – 547) developed the “ora et labora et legere” (pray, work and read) regulations for his monasteries. Obedience to the abbot, the abbess, taciturnity, stability, poverty and humility were required. The regular daily routine was determined with a common choral prayer, meditation, spiritual reading, as well as balancing manual work.
As early as the middle of the 5th century, the Benedictine communities were placed under the bishops as part of a centralist church reform. Charlemagne and his successors subordinated the monasteries to the sovereigns in the sense of an imperial church. In order to serve this imperial idea, the monasteries should not only be contemplative (praying), but should spread Christianity, perform cultural and social work. Thus, by order of 789, all monasteries, which had been founded by and for nobles, had to maintain monastery schools, set up monastery libraries, and act as charities.
Monastic reform movements
Over the centuries, countless monasteries came into being according to Benedictine or “mixed rules” in Ireland, Scotland, in the former papal catchment area of Europe, in the Carolingian mark, and also in the Bavarian Traungau.
The strong integration into the imperial administration, the connection of religious and secular tasks, the development of "large monasteries", the destruction of many monasteries by the Hungarians, as well as secularization, maladministration in church life, led to the decline of monastic culture in the 9th and 10th centuries. At the Council of Aachen (816 - 819) under Ludwig the Pious the Benedictine rule was made obligatory for all monasteries for the purpose of standardization. Great importance was once again placed on liturgy, worship and prayer. A return to ideal values of monastic life was sought. Many monasteries joined this renovation. But also many monasteries protested against these impositions, dissolved or declared themselves a community of canons and canoness, who were not obliged to follow any monastic rules.
Development of new monastery cultures
Starting from the Cluny Monastery in Burgundy, there were reform movements mentioned above at the beginning of the 10th century. In line with the Council, the Benedictine rule “pray-work-read” was streamlined, and special attention was paid to the liturgical devine and church service. However, the lifestyle of the "Clunyazenser", which was primarily shaped by church service and prayer foundations, was soon denounced as no longer related to the balancing physical work. Other monasteries such as Gorze, Hirsau and Melk (in the 15th century) repeatedly tried to reform Benedictine monastic life.
Until the middle of the 11th century numerous monasteries were founded or revived after the reform efforts of the monasteries Cluny, Gorze and Hirsau, also in our area: Traunkirchen (1020), Lambach (1046), Admont (1074), Garsten (1082), Kremsmünster, St. Florian and others.
Information about the copper engraver
Georg Matthäus Vischer
Born on April 22nd, 1628 in Wenns, Tyrol, died on December 13th 1696 in Linz/Donau.
Priest and Austria's most important cartographer, topographer and engraver.
By order of the estates of the country, he drew cities, castles, palaces and monasteries.
© E. Rumpf, R. Hofbauer; Translation: XiBIT Infoguide GmbH