World’s oldest Cistercian abbey has more than 100 monks

The Cistercian Abbey of Heiligenkreuz (Holy Cross) in Austria is the oldest in the world. It dates back almost 1,000 years and currently has more than 100 monks living there.

It has never had “interruptions” in its history and is now an oasis of the Catholic Church in Europe. Love for God and others is at the centre of its work, and the beloved Pope Benedict XVI is an “ally.”

Heiligenkreuz is located about 18 miles from Vienna, the capital of Austria. The monks, explained the Italian newspaper Avvenire, have an average age of 49, which means they are “young” in current Church terms, especially in Europe, where there has been a precipitous decline in vocations.

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