Maria Laach, Abbey of
MARIA LAACH, ABBEY OF
Benedictine foundation in the Rhineland, near Andernach, West Germany. Founded in 1093 by Count Palatine Henry II and his wife and settled with monks from St. Maximin in trier and later from affligem, it had possessions on the Rhine and Moselle and in the Eifel. The Romanesque church (patrons, Our Lady and St. Nicholas), consecrated by Abp. Hillin of Trier (1156), is almost unchanged despite several restorations. The abbey flourished under the customary of cluny. After a late medieval decline, it joined the bursfeld union (1474) in which it had a leading role after the Reformation. Prior Johannes Butzbach (d. 1516), influenced by Abbot J. Trithemius, was a prominent humanist author. The abbey was suppressed during the French Revolution and secularized (1797–1802), the state holding the church (1815–1924) and private individuals holding the property and the buildings (damaged by fire in 1855). Jesuits acquired Maria Laach (1862), establishing a collegium maximum and building a library (1864) and gatehouses (1869). They produced there Philosophia Lacensis (13 v. 1888–1919), Collectio Lacensis of councils (7 v. 1870–90), and Stimmen aus Maria Laach (1871–1915), since called Stimmen der Zeit. Expelled in the Kulturkampf, they kept an administrator at the abbey until they sold it to Benedictines of beuron (1892), title and rights of the old abbey being restored in 1893. Willibrord Benzler (bishop of Metz in 1901), Fidelis von Stotzingen (to 1913), Ildefons herwegen (d. 1946), and B. Ebel have served as abbots. Under Abbot Herwegen, the abbey became a center of the liturgical reform: Odo casel (d.1948), Kunibert mohlberg (d. 1963); the collection Ecclesia orans (1918– ); and a German missal (1929– ). Besides liturgical studies have appeared studies in Benedictine history, hymnology, and art. Since 1948 scholarship has been concentrated in the Abbot Herwegen Institute for Liturgical and Monastic Research. Pius XI made the abbey church a minor basilica.
Bibliography: h. emonds, ed., Enkainia. Gesammelte Arbeiten zum 800 jährigen Weihegedächtnis der Abteikirche Maria Laach am 24 August 1956 (Düsseldorf 1956). t. bogler, Maria Laach: Vergangenheit und Gegenwart der Abtei am Laacher See (4th ed. Munich 1961); Benedikt und Ignatius: Gesammelte Aufsätze (Maria Laach 1963). e. von severus, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 1957–65) 7:45–46.
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