Klosterneuburg – I

This past week I made my retreat at the Klosterneuburg Abbey, just north of Vienna, Austria. Like practically everything in Austria, it is beautiful. The Abbey dates from the year 1114, is located a stone’s throw from the Danube (which, as luck would have it, wasn’t blue any of the times that I saw it on this trip), and it has the oldest vineyards in Austria. The red wine that I tried was pretty good!

Founded by St. Leopold, who is now venerated as the Patron Saint of Austria, the Abbey was endowed and enriched by him and subsequent emperors. Incidentally, St. Leopold was technically a “margrave“. Up until yesterday, when I learned this term, if I had been on an episode of Jeopardy and was given this word, I probably would have guessed, “Uh, what is a bird, Alex?”…

Here is a substantial relic of St. Leopold, on display in the Treasury of St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna:

Blurry/grainy and over-exposed cell phone photo (though I did try to color correct it a bit). This was either part of his skull or part of his clavicle. I think the shape of the reliquary is an allusion to the legendary elderberry bush associated with the saint and his wife. See here for more.

Klosterneuburg Abbey houses a religious order of Augustinian Canons. If you are a young man discerning your vocation, you might think about checking them out (I’m pretty sure you would need to learn German, however). They number about 50 and come from many different countries, including the United States (though many are from German-speaking countries). Besides running various aspects of the extensive abbey complex, they also staff some 23 parishes in the Vienna area, one in Norway, and two in Long Island (yes, that Long Island).

Looking up at the towers of Klosterneuburg Abbey’s church.

During the retreat I prayed for all of the prayer intentions I received (from about 30 people total), and I offered Mass this morning for all of those intentions collectively.

Thank you to all who prayed that I might have a good retreat: it was!

This entry was posted in Ad Hoc and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.