Santa Maria de Monserrato

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For the church in Rome, see Santa Maria in Monserrato degli Spagnoli

Santa Maria de Monserrat (Latin: Beatae Mariae Virginis de Monserrato) was, and could still be, an abbey nullius in Brazil.


When it was determined to restore the Benedictine Order in Brazil, the work was entrusted to the Congregation of Beuron, 24 April 1895, under the guidance of Dom Gerard van Caloen.

By a Decree of the Sacred Congregation of the Consistory, 15 August 1907, the Abbey of Santa Maria de Monserrato at Rio de Janeiro, founded in 1589, was erected into an abbey nullius.

The same Decree separated the District of Rio Branco from the Diocese of Amazones and subjected it to the jurisdiction of the Abbot of Santa Maria de Monserrato. This mission territory was bounded on the north and west by Venezuela, on the north and east by British Guiana, on the south by the two branches of the Rio Branco and the Rio Negro. In the early part of 1898 it was visited by Fathers Libermann and Berthon of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost, who did a little apostolic work among the Catholics scattered along the banks of the Rio Branco. The region contained 6000 Catholic Brazilians, and 50,000 pagan Indians.

Mgr. Gerard van Caloen born, 12 March 1853; entered the Benedictine monastery of Beuron, was appointed Abbot of São Bento at Olinda, 20 May 1896, and general vicar of the Brazilian congregation in 1899, he was transferred, 28 February 1905, to the monastery of São Bento, at Rio de Janeiro; made titular Bishop of Phocea, 13 December 1907; and elected archabbot of the Brazilian congregation, 6 September 1908. He resided at Rio de Janeiro. On 8 June 1907 he obtained a coadjutor, Abbot Dom Chrysostom de Saegher, Abbot of St. Martin of Thebaen, who had the right of succession to the abbatial See of Monserrato. Archabbot Gerard retired at 1915 (+1932).


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Santa Maria de Monserrato". Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.