Cluny to Celebrate 1,100 Years

Organizers Hope to Honor More Than History

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CLUNY, France, SEPT. 10, 2009 ( The 1,100th anniversary of Cluny should celebrate more than art and architecture: The local bishop hopes it will bring people to reflect on the heart of the abbey.

The anniversary celebrations are set to begin Sunday and will continue through December 2010.

The events will begin with a Mass at the abbey church presided over by Bishop Benoît Rivière of Autun, Macon and Chalon, and the symbolic opening of the 12 gates of the city.

The abbey today is an important cultural and tourist center. But organizers from the Diocese of Autun are hoping to highlight the spiritual meaning of the anniversary.

Monsignor Pierre Calimé, spokesman for the diocese, expressed his wish that the anniversary will «go beyond evoking the glorious past and its touristic reputation.»
 He explained: «Beyond the architecture, the art, the science, the routes and roadways, Cluny 2010 should be, at least for believers and men and women of good will, the occasion to rediscover the heart of the heart of the abbey. […]

«The great work of Cluny is the life of thousands of monks confining their existence to the Rule of St. Benedict.»

Among the events on the program, there are various symposiums on sacred art, Masses and a prayer meeting with the Taizé community.

The Cluny abbey was founded by William I of Aquitaine in 909. Benedict XVI dedicated his catechesis at the Wednesday audience of Sept. 2 to its second abbot, St. Odo.

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