Friday, December 31, 2010

Even In Monastery Fires There Are Priorities

The Trappist (Cistercian) monks at the 13th century monastery Notre-Dame de St-Remy Abbey in Belgium are best known for brewing their Trappistes Rochefort beer. On Wednesday, while the monks were at dinner, a fire broke out that destroyed a good part of the monastery. Fortunately, none of the monks were injured or killed in the fire.

The firemen who fought the blaze made it their priority to protect the monastery's library with its collection of 700-year old rare books and the brewery. The BBC reports:
Francois Bellot, mayor of Rochefort, said he was confident that it would be possible to resume beer production within a few days.
This monastery is only one of five that brews Trappist beer and has been producing this strong beer (7.5- 12% ABV) since 1595.

So if you plan to celebrate tonight with a good strong Belgian beer like the Trappistes Rochefort, remember the firemen who preserved that part of the monastery. Also, say a prayer for the now-homeless monks as they go about doing God's work by brewing one of the world's best beers.

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