(I have no means of knowing the truth about these allegations, though someone did once tell me that this group consecrates as virgins women who are not such, putting them first through a ‘rite of re-virginisation’ – don’t ask.)

Exclusive: A Former Monastic Sister Of Bethlehem Looks Back –

I was astonished to learn that a former member of the community of the Abbe of Nantes has been elected as the new prior-general of the Carthusians. He is Dom Francois-Marie Velut, better known (when he was with the Abbe) as Brother Michael of the Holy Trinity, author of a series of scholarly books on Fatima. The election was in September last year.

Hail, light and model for all Carthusians, fruitful olive tree bursting forth from the cleft in the rock,

fragrant lily springing up in solitude, flowering and diffusing a life-giving perfume of sweetness.

May we exult for ever in the mercy of Him Whose glory fills you with joy.

V/. The just man shall blossom like the lily,

R/. He shall strike root like the Lebanon cedar.

Deus, qui Sanctum Brunonem ad serviendum tibi in solitudine vocasti:

eius nobis intercessione concede, ut inter mundanas varietates,

tibi iugiter vacemus:

per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum Filium tuum,

qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti,


per omnia saecula saeculorum, amen.

The Latin phrase “vacare Deo” is hard to translate exactly in English. It has all the connotations of being vacant or empty, being at leisure, being free or unoccupied, being on holiday for God. It occurs in Psalm 45(46):10 “Vacate et videte quoniam ego sum Deus” – “Be still, and know that I am God”. St. Paul uses it in 1 Cor 7:5, about married couples being “free for prayer”. The idea is present also in the story of Mary the sister of Martha, who sat at the Lord’s feet, and was commended for having wisely chosen the one thing necessary (Lk 10:42).

(From the Pluscarden oblate newsletter. Translation of prayer in combox.)

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