March 20, 2023 – The Feast of St. Joseph

In 1872, 24 years after the monks first arrived, the Abbey of Gethsemani was formally dedicated to the patronage of St. Joseph. A large stone plaque inscribed in Latin on one wall of the front porch of the church marks the occasion. In 1998, the 150th anniversary of its founding, the abbey was re-dedicated to St. Joseph and a bronze plaque with an English translation of the original Latin was placed beside it.

As part of this year’s celebrations to mark the 175th anniversary of Gethsemani, we again dedicated our community to the protection and patronage of St. Joseph, on this his feast day. Abbot Elias made some opening remarks and then Fr. Anton read the English translation of the original stone plaque. It goes like this:

To God Almighty,
To the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Immaculate Lady,
And to
Blessed Joseph, chosen
of the
Trappist Monastery of Gethsemani
on March 31, 1872
Day by Day
May There Be an Increase in the
And Number of the Brethren,
That Those who Seek God
May Never Grow Less in All Good

Be this Plaque a Lasting Testimony.

After the short ceremony on the porch, the community and guests processed into the church and the Mass of the day was begun. Fr. Anton gave the homily, and noted that the difficulties that faced Gethsemani in 1872 were not unlike the difficulties facing the community now, and that the help of St. Joseph is needed more than ever.

We also remember on this special day our own Br. Joseph and Br. Giuseppe who not only celebrates his feast day today, but also his 92nd birthday.