|Birth: ||Nov. 18, 1927|
|Death: ||Feb. 29, 2008|
Dom Gerard Calvet, the retired Abbot of Ste. Madeleine du Barroux Monastery and France's former International Consultant to Human Life International, passed away on Friday, February 29, 2008, at the age of 80.
His death came after years of declining health due to a stroke he suffered during the late 1990's.
Dom Calvet, who founded the Benedictine branch of the worldwide Traditional Catholic Movement, was one of the first Prelates to reconcile with Pope John Paul II under the 1988 Papal Document Ecclesia Dei Adflicta, and was a lifelong advocate of Christian Culture and Morality.
He was born in Bordeaux, France, on November 18, 1927, and took his First Vows as a Benedictine Monk on February 4, 1951. Calvet was ordained to the Priesthood on May 13, 1956.
Father Calvet rose to prominence shortly after the Second Vatican Council, when he and a few traditionally minded Monks set out to restore the defunct St. Madeleine du Barroux Monastery in Provence, France. In the next two decades, Father Calvet would ally himself with Archbishop Lefebvre and the Society of St. Pius X in celebrating the Pre-Vatican II Latin Mass, which led to the Monastery's functioning outside Church recognition.
In this time, he helped found the Chartres Pilgrimage, an annual three-day pilgrimage from Paris to Chartres that draws thousands of Traditional Catholics. In 1986, Father Calvet published "Tomorrow Christendom," a biting indictment of what he saw as Europe's cultural and spiritual suicide, coupled with a plea to return to France's Christian Patrimony.
Relations between the Monastery and the Holy See thawed in 1988, when Father Calvet objected to Archbishop Lefebvre's schismatic consecration of Bishops.
"I initially supported the Consecrations," Father Calvet said in a 2000 interview, "but had a change of heart after talking to a Bishop who had been persecuted by the Chinese Government."
"He had suffered physical torture rather than renounce his Communion with Rome," Father Calvet said. "How could I abandon my Communion after what this Bishop had suffered for his?"
He would lead his Monastery, as well as many Catholic Traditionalists who shared his concerns over the consecrations, back to Full Communion with Rome. On July 2, 1989, the Church raised the Monastery to the status of Abbey and named Dom Calvet its First Abbot - a position he held until his health forced him to resign in 2003.
Dom Calvet first became known to the international Pro-Life Community in the 1990's after he and several of his Monks were jailed during the Christmas Season.
Dressed in full Monastic Garb, and carrying Rosaries and a specially galvanized chain, Dom Calvet had led an early morning procession of Traditional Benedictine Monks to a French Abortuary.
Moments after the Abortuary opened, the Monks rushed into the operating room and barricaded themselves inside.
They then chained themselves to the equipment and began to chant the Monastic Office of prayer in Latin.
The Monks spent the day praying the Rosary and chanting old Gregorian Hymns.
It took the combined effort of the local Police and the Fire Department over ten hours to break through the barricade, cut through the chains, and arrest the Monks.
No abortion was performed in the Abortuary that day.
Dom Calvet and his Monks were subsequently jailed, however, French authorities released the Monks after the arrest sparked massive protests among the Country's devout Catholics.
Saint Madeleine du Barroux Monastery
Departement du Vaucluse
Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France
Created by: Eman Bonnici
Record added: Jun 30, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 27920116