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Echoes from the Bell Tower, a podcast devoted to stories of wit and wisdom from the monks of Saint Meinrad.

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St. Meinrad: The Man, The Martyr, The Place

Thursday, April 14, 2016


This week's podcast takes a look at the story behind our patron saint, Meinrad, a man who lived in what is now called Switzerland during the ninth century. It's a fascinating story of a man seeking God and yearning to do that as a hermit. But there's also his murder and the tale of how his ravens identify the culprits!

Obviously, he's an important figure in our history, since we're named for him. But he represents much more than that - as Fr. Harry Hagan, OSB, explains in the podcast. Meinrad's legacy is one of searching for God, assisting others and offering hospitality to all. Those values continue to be lived out today by the monks and others associated with the monastic community.

Fr. Harry mentions the shrine of St. Meinrad, which is located in the Archabbey Church. It's called a triptych - a three-section work of art. A picture of the shrine appears on this page. The center section depicts the moment in Meinrad's life when he speaks with a woman who is "dear to Christ" about his desire to live a life of solitude. She promises him that, if he decides to do this, she will help him.

For us today, that center panel represents all of those who assist Saint Meinrad in its work - alumni of our schools, co-workers, benefactors, oblates and neighbors. The prayer and work of the monks depend on that longstanding tradition of partnership of support.

Although Meinrad died in 861, it wasn't until the 1850s that this monastery was founded with his name. This episode tells how that unfolded, and how that small, inauspicious abbey led to the founding of the community of St. Meinrad.

If you'd like to read the entire vita, or life of St. Meinrad, portions of which Fr. Adrian Burke, OSB, reads in this podcast, you can find it here: The Life of St. Meinrad

We've also added an extra story that didn't make the podcast. You can listen to that on this page.

We hope you're enjoying the podcast and, as always, we appreciate your feedback. Please leave us comments on iTunes, Stitcher or SoundCloud. Or email them to:


Episode 2 Bonus Story:

Fr. Bede O'Connor, OSB and Fr. Ulrich Christen, OSB were the two Benedictine monks from Einsiedeln in Switzerland who emigrated to southern Indiana and founded our monastery.

Art of the martyrdom of St. Meinrad from various publications since his death in 861.