Thursday, November 15, 2007

Gregory's Angels

This is a kind of book review. The book is Gregory's Angels by Gordon Beattie, OSB, of Ampleforth Abbey in northeast England. The book is subtitled: "A history of the abbeys, priories, parishes and schools of the monks and nuns following the Rule of Saint Benedict in Great Britain, Ireland and their overseas foundations." It was published in 1997 to commemorate the 1400 year anniversary of the arrival of Saint Augustine in Kent in 597 AD.

It's over 300 pages long--with one or two pages devoted to each present monastery/abbey. Full color pictures accompany each place as do basic statistics and facts, including mailing address, telephone, directions on how to get there and a half page of their history and uniqueness. It is a coffee-table type book, but so beautifully laid out that the facts and figures don't dominate it....the photos, descriptions and essays do.

Since I am at Worth Abbey in West Sussex, England this week I thought a sharing of Gregory's Angels (Pope Gregory the Great, author of The Life and Miracles of Benedict, Book 2 of the Dialogues) would be appropriate.

Amazon does seem to carry used copies, a little pricey but if you're into all-things-Benedictine-Cistercian and/or enjoy the countries of the United Kingdom or the history of western civilization, you'd like it.

PS. There are pages of great trivia, too: Benedictine saints of Great Britain, Benedictine popes, and pre and post-reformation monasteries in Great Britain.