Dedication of the Abbey of Our Lady, Pontigny, France (1114) – 20 October:
The Abbot Orsini wrote: “The Dedication of the Church of Pontigny, four leagues from Auxerre, under the title of Our Lady. This Abbey was founded in 1114 by Thibaud, Count of Champagne.”
The former abbey of Pontigny is nestled in the Serein valley in the north of Burgundy, and is one of the oldest sites of the Cistercian order. Being only the second Cistertian monastery, it was established in the year 1114 by Blessed Hugh of Macon, the companion of Saint Bernard, in this valley north of Auxerre in the French Department of Yonne. It is notable, that Hugh later became the Bishop of Auxerre.
The Monks valued the land, the woods and streams they were surrounded by and cultivated large farms around their Abbey. They raised various crops, bread pigs and sheep and made terracotta bricks. It was that strong economic base that enabled them to construct the great Romanesque style Church that reached an impressive length of 120 metres that still stands intact today.
In the year 1164 the Abbey received the Archbishop of Canterbury and Primate of England St Thomas à Becket while he was an exile due to his opposition to King Henry and in 1206 the Queen of France, Alix de Champagne, was buried in the choir of the Abbey.
The wealthy Abbey was looted and burned by the Huguenots in about 1529 during the Wars of Religion. During the French Revolution the Abbey was suppressed, and its buildings largely sold or destroyed, save for the Church. Unlike most Churches during the time of the French Revolution, the Abbey of Pontigny is completely preserved and is now thought to be the largest Cistercian Church in France. The Church is notable for its arches and columns with twin bays, its vaults on two columns and portal with tympanum cross and wrought iron hinges.
Known as the Church of Notre-Dame-et-Saint-Edme Pontigny, or Our Lady of Saint Edmond of Pontigny, the old Church Abbey monastery became the Parish Church of the village of the same name after the French Revolution.
The church of Notre-Dame-et-Saint-Edme Pontigny is now abandoned and it is used simply as a kind of cultural meeting place.
St Acca (c 660-742) Bishop, Abbot, Missionary, Theologian, Musician.
About St Acca:
St Aidan of Mayo
St Andrew of Crete
St Artemius Megalomartyr
St Bernard of Bagnorea
St Caprasius of Agen
St Cornelius the Centurion (1st Century) traditionally believed to have become th First Bishop of Caesarea
Blesseds Daudi Okello (c 1902 -1918) & Jildo Irwa (c 1906-1918) – Martyrs of Uganda.
Bl Gundisalvus of Silos
Blessed James Strepar OFM (c 1340-1409) Archbishop of Halicz, Poland from 1392 until his death Religious Priest of the Order of Friars Minor, Missionary. St Pius X proclaimed Blessed James, along with St Anthony of Padua, the Patrons of the Conventual Franciscan Order of Krakow Province. He was given the title of “Protector of the Kingdom, Defender and Guardian of the Homeland,” for his exceptional merits, including civil ones. Such was he considered by all. He was Canonised by by Pope Pius VI on 11 September 1791. His body is incorrupt.
St John of Kanty/Cantius (1390-1473) Priest, Theologian, Scholastic Philosopher, Physicist, Teacher, Confessor, Philosopher, Apostle of Charity – Patron of Poland and Lithuania.
St Leopardo of Osimo
St Lucas Alonso Gorda
St Maria Bertilla Boscardin (1888 – 1922) Religious nursing Sister of the Teachers of Saint Dorothy, Daughters of the Sacred Heart.
St Martha of Cologne
St Maximus of Aquila
St Saula of Cologne
St Sindulphus of Rheims
Blessed Tiburcio Arnáiz Muñoz SJ (1865-1926) (Beatified 20 October 2019 in the Cathedral of Malaga, Spain) His feast day will be 20 October
St Vitalis of Salzburg