Monastic Ireland.

Letter from Stephen of Lexington to the Abbot of Owney (Letter 63)

Extract from Stephen of Lexington, Letters from Ireland 1228 - 1229 (translated and with an introduction by Barry W. O'Dwyer), Cistercian Publications Inc., Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1982

Letter 63

To the Abbot of Owney, greetings (1).

We will be at Clonmel on Saturday immediately after the feast of St. Bernard, the Lord willing, for the purposes of reforming the house of Suir if it can be done, and appointing an abbot there with your advice, if it shall please God (2). However, we have learned from monks of the aforesaid house whom we summoned to us that the prior and all his accomplices are doing everything they can to rebel against the Order, and are abhorring no crime but are merely taking what is pleasing for what is permitted.
Wherefore, we order you by virtue of the obedience which is owing to the Order and the General Chapter to meet us there on the aforesaid day at the appointed time. Further, we have told many things to the bearer of the letter to be reported more seriously to you. Trust him completely as you would us in this regard. Act carefully and very secretly in whatever whatever you say or do concerning this matter.


1 – Note in text: Owney (Abington) was in the diocese of Emly, County Limerick, a daughter-house of Furness: Gwynn and Hadcock, p. 126. The abbot of Owney would have accompanied Abbot Stephen on the visitation of Suir which is here being prepared for.
2 – Notes in text. The town of Clonmel, County Tipperary, lies on the river Suir about two miles from the monastery of Suir. The date referred to in the letter is 26 August. The feast of St. Bernard falls on the 20th August.

Stephen of Lexington, Letters from Ireland 1228 - 1229, translated and with an introduction by Barry W. O'Dwyer (Cistercian Publications Inc., Kalamazoo, Michigan) p.63
These extracts are reproduced with the kind permission of Liturgical Press:

Monastic sites related to this article

Abington, Limerick(Abbey)
Inishlounaght, Tipperary(Abbey)