Monastic Ireland.

Letter from Stephen of Lexington to the Abbot and Community of Boyle (Letter 38)

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 38

To the Prior and Community of Boyle, greetings.

Having taken the advice of men of authority and of the greatest experience, both religious and seculars, and having given careful consideration to the matter, we have assigned your house as a perpetual and rightful daughter of Clairvaux. Furthermore, on the day after the Blessed John the Baptist, before all the abbots of Ireland in Chapter, we solemnly absolved in perpetuity all the professed of your house, both monks and lay-brothers, from every obedience and obligation which bound you to the monastery of Mellifont. (1)
And so, for your salvation, we admonish and strictly enjoin you by virtue of the obedience owing to the Order and the General Chapter and under penalty of excommunication to submit to the monastery of Clairvaux alone in future as your motherhouse in perpetuity, giving obedience with all devotion as sons of God and grace and not vessels of discord and dissention. We send to you, too, the bearer of this letter, Brother P., formerly Abbot of Kilbeggan, to whom we have passed on certain information to be imparted to your ear on our part. Trust him completely as you would us. Further, the prior of the house and the master of lay-brothers will come to us with the aforesaid monk P., without refusal or delay, to the region of Dublin, to confer with us concerning the state of your house. Meanwhile, apply yourselves with such diligence to the ordering of your house both internally and externally that it will always be enlarged and increased in spiritualties and temporalities.


1 – Note in text: After June 25. The abbot of Boyle was deposed by General Chapter of 1227 as one of the leaders of the Mellifont conspiracy.

Stephen of Lexington, Letters from Ireland 1228 - 1229, translated and with an introduction by Barry W. O'Dwyer (Cistercian Publications Inc., Kalamazoo, Michigan) pp. 86 - 87
These extracts are reproduced with the kind permission of Liturgical Press:

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Boyle, Roscommon(Abbey)