Old Images of the Former Redemptoristine Monastery - Chudleigh - England

This short Article About the English Redemptoristines was written by Rev. Fr Wilfrid Lescher, O.P. in 1901

Founded 1731

MOTTO : Copiosa apud eum redemptio

The object of the Order [...] is to honour and imitate the Hidden Life of our Lord, and to assist the Church in all her wants, and the Redemptorist Fathers in their apostolic labours for the salvation of souls, by prayer and other exercises of the contemplative life. The interior spirit is one of self-sacrifice, atonement, and reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. The nuns are required to cultivate a simple, humble, cheerful spirit, and to strive to advance in perfection by imitating as far as possible the virtues practised by our Divine Lord in His Hidden Life, joined to an ardent zeal for the salvation of the poor abandoned souls, to whom St. Alphonsus and his sons have consecrated their lives.

A full community consists of thirty-three professed nuns in honour of the thirty-three years of our Lord s life on earth, and seven lay-sisters. The Rule is based on that of St. Augustine ; it was approved and confirmed by Pope Benedict XIV., in June, 1750. The novitiate lasts two years, one of which is spent as a postulant, wearing a simple brown habit, and the other clothed in the habit of the Order without scapular or black veil. The entrance is a public ceremony. The postulant is conducted by the priest from the church to the door of enclosure, where she is received by the Reverend Mother and the community, who gives her the kiss of peace, and leads her away in procession singing the psalm, In exitu Israel de Aegypto. After this the postulant does not again leave the enclosure, the ceremonies of clothing and profession are performed at the choir-grating. The austerities prescribed by the Rule can be performed by any one with an ordinarily good constitution.

The habit of the choir-nuns is red, in memory of the Passion of our Lord, with an azure blue scapular, in memory of our Lady, to the front of which is attached a small oval picture of the Most Holy Redeemer. Over the habit is worn a blue mantle. The guimpe is of white linen finely plaited ; a white linen veil is worn under the black veil, part of the latter can be drawn down over the face; closed sandals of white leather cover the feet. At profession the nuns receive a gold ring representing two hands clasped in token of fidelity. A fifteen-decade rosary, with a large medal bearing the instruments of the Passion, hangs from the girdle. The lay-sisters habit is the same as that of the choir-nuns, except that they have no mantle or black veil.

The Divine Office is recited in choir, the Gregorian chant is used on festivals; daily Benediction and frequent Exposition are the custom in all their churches, which are open to the public; by these means the nuns try to increase the devotion of people living in the world to the Blessed Sacrament.

Each monastery of the Order is independent and under the Bishop of the diocese in which it is situated.

There is only one monastery of Redemptoristines in England, that at Clapham, which was founded in 1897 by Rev. Mother M. Gertrude O.SS.R. She came from Dublin with fourteen sisters in 1897 and started the community in Clapham London. The community moved to Chudleigh Devon in 1925.

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