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Its abbot, an old man, had withdrawn to the monastery of Engelberg, more favourably situated, and there died on 5 November, 1838, leaving to his successor, D. The crisis came when on a winter's day in 1841 an armed force drove the monks into exile and the cantonal authorities seized the abbey and its estates.
Despite this violent expulsion the community never wholly disbanded; the abbot and some of the monks held together and soon found a welcome from the Catholic Canton of Unterwalden, which invited them to undertake the management of the cantonal college at Sarnen.
Meinrad at Einsiedeln, under the leadership of Prior Reginbold, on whose death in 1055 the first abbot was chosen in the person of Burchard.
During his rule the abbey church was consecrated in 1064; it was for many years the burial place of the Hapsburg dynasty.
In order to avoid complications the house of Gries was continued in its former status as a priory and incorporated with the Swiss Abbey of Muri, which is regarded as temporarily located in its Austrian dependency, the Abbot of Muri being at the same time Prior of Gries.
The persecution which drove the community from its stately home at Muri seems in no way to have lessened the numbers and good works of the monks ; indeed there has been a notable increase in the personnel of the convent in recent years and fresh demands are ever being made on their manifold activities.
The Emperor Leopold I created Abbot Placid Zurlauben and his successors Princes of the Holy Roman Empire, and spent a vast sum of money in rebuilding and embellishing the monastery and church, the ancient mausoleum of the imperial family.
The abbey continued to prosper in every way; good discipline was kept up and many distinguished ecclesiastics and learned men were educated within its walls.
Among the names of its more distinguished abbots are those of Ranzelin; Cuno, founder of its school, and a generous benefactor to the library of the monastery ; Henry Scheuk who greatly increased its landed property ; and Henry de Schoenwerd.The good reputation enjoyed by the Abbey of Muri procured it many friends.In 1114 the Emperor Henry V took it under his special protection; and the popes on their side were not less solicitous for its welfare; it would seem, however, that the use of pontificalia was not granted to the abbots of Muri until the time of Pope Julius II (1503-1513).It recovered somewhat of its old life under Abbot Conrad II, only to suffer again under his successor George Russinger in the war between Austria and Switzerland.Russinger had taken part in the Council of Constance and had caught something of the reforming spirit of that assembly.About this time the community was reinforced by the accession of a new colony of monks from the Abbey of St.Blaise in the Black Forest, one of whom, the blessed Luitfrid, continued the government of both communities till his holy death 31 December, 1096.Like all other institutions the place had its vicissitudes of good and bad fortune.It was laid low by two disastrous conflagrations, in 1300 and in 1363; wars and risings checked for a time its prosperity.Dom John Jodoc Singisen elected in 1596 proved himself a second founder of his monastery, and extending his care to the other Benedictine houses of Switzerland is rightly revered as one of the founders of the Swiss Congregation established in 1602.Largely through his efforts discipline was everywhere restored; monks of piety and letters when forth from Muri to repeople the half reined cloisters ; by his wisdom suitable constitutions were drawn up for such communities of nuns as had survived so many revolutions.