Chevetogne Abbey, also known as the Monastery of the Holy Cross, is a Roman Catholic Benedictine monastery dedicated to Christian unity located in the Belgian village of Chevetogne. Currently, the monastery has 27 monks.
In 1924 Pope Pius XI addressed the apostolic letter Equidem verba to the Benedictine Order encouraging them to work for the reunion of the Catholic and Eastern Churches, with particular emphasis on the Russian Orthodox Church. The following year, a community was established by Dom Lambert Beauduin (1873–1960) at Amay, on the river Meuse. Because of Beauduin's close friendship with Cardinal Mercier and Pope John XXIII, as well as his relations with Eastern Christians, he became a pioneer of the Catholic Ecumenical movement. His initial focus was on unity with Orthodox and Anglicans, but was eventually extended to all those who bear the name of Christ.
In 1939, the community of Amay Priory moved to its current location at Chevetogne, occupying a former Jesuit novitiate. Since then, an Eastern church was built in 1957 and painted with frescos by Rhallis Kopsidis and Georges Chochlidakis, and a Western church was completed with a library in its basement. The library has approximately 100,000 volumes and subscribes to about 500 specialized journals and periodicals. Chevetogne Priory was raised to the status of an abbey on 11 December 1990.
In order to live a life of Christian unity, the monastery has both Western (Latin Rite) and Eastern (Byzantine rite) churches which hold services every day. While the canonical hours of the daily monastic office are served separately, the monks share their meals together and are united under one abbot. Along with prayer, the monks engage in publishing a journal, Irénikon, since 1926, making recordings of church music, and producing incense, all of which can be bought in the monastery shop.References:
The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.
The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.
The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.
The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.
Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.
At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.
In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.