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[infox] Visiting MONTSERRAT.... anytime from Sep24 to Sep25?

This year the Monastery of Montserrat celebrates its 1000th birthday!

Starting on Sep 8th 2024, Montserrat will celebrate its millennium for fifteen months, marking a thousand years since Oliba, abbot of Ripoll and Cuixà and bishop of Vic, dispatched a group of monks from Ripoll to establish a Benedictine monastery next to a small hermitage dedicated to the Virgin Mary, which, according to history, was already present on the mountain in the year 880.

There'll be a historical overview of the Monastery since the year 1025, cradle and custodian of an important spiritual and cultural heritage. The monastery quickly grew in fame due to the miracles attributed to the Virgin Mary, and its devotion spread first throughout Europe, and later reached America.

An important part of the exhibition is dedicated to the Iconography of the Virgin of Montserrat. It speaks of the image of Santa Maria, both the polychrome and gilded wood carving from the late 12th century, as well as its veneration in Catalonia and around the world, including the Virolai to the Virgin of Montserrat, an anthem for the Catalans.

The Escolania, the liturgical choir of boy sopranos in service to the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Montserrat, which has its origins in the 13th century, is also a centre for human and Christian formation for the boys who are part of it. The exhibition explains their activity as well as that of the new choir, the Schola Cantorum of the Escolania, created on September 11, 2023, and composed of boys and girls.

Since its foundation, the monastery has had a scriptorium and a library, spaces dedicated to copying and safeguarding books. The Library contains manuscripts and incunabula, as well as sections on philosophy, theology, biblical sciences, liturgy, patristics, music, art history, general history, and the history of Catalonia. Today, it consists of a collection of over 300,000 volumes. One of the few examples from the ancient Library that have survived to this day is the Red Book of Montserrat, from the 14th-15th centuries. It is a manuscript produced in the Montserrat scriptorium, containing miscellaneous texts regarding the care of pilgrims at the sanctuary, music, geography, and other cultural and social aspects. A facsimile of it can be seen at the exhibition. The exhibition also prominently features the Publications of the Abbey of Montserrat, whose origins date back to the 15th century when Abbot Garcías de Cisneros installed a printing press in the monastery. Currently, the publishing house offers a wide thematic range: spirituality, liturgy, Bible, theology, history, music, geography, and children's publications, with a catalogue of over 3,000 titles published.

The celebration will span fifteen months and will include religious, cultural, and social activities, including a gathering with over a hundred abbots and monks from around the world. It's highly probable that the Monastery and its surroundings will be busier than usual during this time. Please consider this when planning your visits.

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