I knew a little bit about the Order of St. Benedict before my husband and I arrived in Mt. Angel for our vacation this weekend. (If you’re not familiar with them, I highly recommend this brief explanation of the Order at Vivificat; I think it’s the most clear, concise summary of the Benedictines I’ve ever seen.) I knew the Order was about 1,500 years old. I knew that one of their vows was stability, and that they were big on learning and culture.
One thing that I’d forgotten until we arrived was that they’re known for their hospitality. In the Rule of St. Benedict there’s an entire section on how to best welcome guests, pilgrims and the poor, and St. Benedict writes, “All guests who present themselves are to be received as Christ, for he himself will say: ‘I was a stranger and you welcomed me (Mt 25:35).'”
In our time here in Mt. Angel, we have truly felt welcomed as one would welcome Christ himself. Rather than write about it, I thought I’d share some pictures. (They’re from two places: we first stayed at Queen of Angels Monastery of the Benedictine Sisters, then moved over to Mt. Angel Abbey, our main destination.)
while some delicious lattes and Italian cream sodas were whipped up
One of the many reasons I will leave this place refreshed is simply that it’s been such a wonderful experience to feel so welcomed and well taken care of. Truly, I feel like I have been “received as Christ.”