The fine monks of Saint Mary Magdalene Monastery in Le Barroux, France are traditional Benedictines in full communion with the Holy See.
They have produced a video DVD on their way of life. They sent me a copy.
UPDATED ORDER INFORMATION: HERE.
Here is a PDF the monk sent me with order information in English.
If you are having a hard time figuring out how to order the DVD you can get help via e-mail by writing to Dom Edmund. vpc [AT] barroux [DOT] org
I must share some of this with you.
First, here is a promo.
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I have visited Le Barroux a couple times, though not for many years now.
It is a truly beautiful place with an amazing Catholic identity.
At this monastery, all the monks who are priests say Mass only in the older, traditional form.
Watch the video, above.
Perhaps you might chime in here with comments about whether you might be interested in getting such a DVD.
The monks contacted me about it and weren’t quite sure about what formats to produce it in. This might depend on interest. North America requires a different format, signal, etc., than Europe and the rest of the world.
To sweeten the deal… here are some images from the DVD
In the bonus section there are interviews and a great slide show.
The audio of the DVD is French.
You may select the language for the subtitles.
The DVD follows the monastic day and shows some important events.
The shots of the Pontifical Mass for Pentecost and images of the acceptance and vesting of a novice are in themselves worthy to get the DVD.
Here are various screen-shots to give you a flavor.
I think you will enjoy what you see.
The Rule of Benedict emphasizes both prayer and work, manual labor.
Ora et labora.
There are interviews. The monks talk about their past lives, and the choice to embrace this life with its difficulties and joys.
The monastery is in a truly beautiful location.
The building is both modern and ancient. Newly constructed and yet centuries old.
They work at all sorts of jobs.
But all the work is also prayer.
Nothing, however, compares to the heart of the monastery.
They wash the hands of visitors.
Reading during silent meals, without meat.
Back to work.
They kiss the feet of novices.
The whole community kisses the feet of novices….
There is recreation, especially the Sunday walk.
And Compline at the end of the monastic day.
There is time to read and pray in…
There is a chapter at the end.
You get the idea…..
Let me know.
The monks will watch this entry for comments, I am sure.
I will let them know you are posting.
UPDATE 0709 GMT 10 May
One of the monks wrote to say:
Please note that this DVD has been published in the PAL format.
Check before ordering that your player is compatible.
PAL DVDs, including this one, can also be played on at least some American computers. Again, check that you have this possibility.
UPDATED ORDER INFORMATION: HERE.
The title is VEILLEURS DANS LA NUIT.
I can confirm that the DVD plays on my computer. Again, though the audio of the DVD is French, you can choose various languages for subtitles as you please: English is available.
I can also play it on a DVD player I purchased which can play all regions all formats. But it did not play on a regular American DVD player.
Such beautiful music, such a beautiful complex and so many men together in prayer–awesome!
North America requires a different format, signal, etc., than Europe and the rest of the world
Back in the bad old days of VHS videocassettes this was true. Now it is no longer the case. The most important thing is simply that they make a region “0” (region-free) DVD. That way, region-specific DVD players (which most of them are) won’t refuse to play it. The DVD player will then take care of making sure that the video appears on the screen, even if the video is encoded to be more compatible with European video standards.
As an aside, in the pre-digital days, not even all of Europe had a unified video format, and many countries outside of Europe used the American NTSC, so it was never a case of U.S. vs. the world, although the late adoption of color television in many parts of the world gave those countries the ability to choose between standards and many did choose European PAL, which was superior, having been developed after NTSC and incorporating improvements therein.
This was a beautiful promo — for the most part, it revealed the beauty and prayerfulness of a cloistered religious life. I hope the full-length film, to be thorough and realistic, balances this by also going into the extremely hard labor, sleep deprivation, and spiritual combat required. Then I think it would be a complete package and inform any prospective candidates what it really means to leave all things for Christ. Also, I hope they will offer this DVD either in English, or with subtitles. I would be very interested in seeing it. Thank you for this. God bless.
I wonder whether the bells are those of the Monastery or the sound of bells comesfrom somewhere else? I thought organised melodic bell ringing was only found in countries with a strong historical influence from England. Normally in continental Europe bells produce a more random sound.
I swooped up “Into Great Silence” as soon as it was released and I would do the
same with this.
Would love to have a copy of that DVD! The chant is absolutely gorgeous.
just so people know the DVD promo is ONLY the near beginning video part by ‘Le Films de L’Efronte’, the pictures before that, and the filmed procession, and Pictures(music) and little Communion video after it, are edited/added by me,so the DVD would not include ANY pictures etc.
the original of mine is here
and the orginal DVD promo ‘Veilleurs dans la Nuit’ ALONE is at,
and here is a cool video on the monks making Olive Oil
Just giving all credits whee due :)
PS new DVD players in USA will play Barroux DVDs, at the Abbey there are 3 (here in Canada) and all work no problem. Region Free players?
Father didnt a couple of monks leave this monastery to form their own foundation in Northern Italy as the new rector replacing Dom Gerad has tried to enter certain aspects of the novus ordo here. The new monastery is located I think in Villa Tilla and they are called the Benedictines of the Immaculate. They sent me a beautiful postcard which was very edifying.
I would be interested in purchasing a copy dependant on the cost of the DVD, shipping fee and oh yes, subtitles! (I’m in the UK)
I would definitely buy it. I could use it in the course I teach on monasticism (hopefully, would include English subtitles if made available for U.S. audiences). Please keep us posted, Fr. Z., on when it is available.
I had the grace of spending two years at Le Barroux (one year as a postulant, one year as a novice). It was a beautiful experience that I will never forget. The Benedictine monks of Le Barroux are true sons of St. Benedict — the Benedictine tradition in its purest sense. The liturgy is traditional, but very sober. I wasn’t a big fan of the Conventual Mass though, since it tended to use the rubrics of 1965 instead of 1962 (no prayers at the foot of the altar, no triple sign of the Cross with the host and chalice at the “Per ipsum…”, etc. — although they retain the Confiteor before Holy Communion which, I believe, was suppressed in the 1962 liturgy). But in general, their liturgy is very beautiful and prayerful. The beautiful thing about the Benedictine rite, especially in the Divine Office, is that it repeats itself so much that after a bit of time, one gets to know the liturgy very well, like the back of one’s hand. Even after a few years of not praying the traditional Office, I still remember Psalm 50, Psalm 66, etc. by heart, since they are prayed daily in the Office. The Office of Compline is especially prayerful. It is the same every day (unlike the Roman Office), and the monks sing it in the dark, by heart, with only the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary illuminated.
I am now studying for the Diocesan Priesthood, but what I learned and experienced at Le Barroux will remain with me for the rest of my life. All in all, Le Barroux is a great Benedictine community to visit, especially if you want to discover the great Benedictine tradition in its purest form.
Father et al,
the DVD does exist for European purchase,and my friend in Ontario said to me its region free, but i am not sure of that. (my other 2 Barroux DVDs are region Free but are PAL/SECAM. not NTSC),so the DVD was released last month ,subtitled in English, Italian, Spanish,German from le Barroux’s online ‘Boutique’.for 17 Euros sale, unil May 31st.
and look under the moving script – “Nouveautes ,découvres le DVD sur l’Abbaye”
“Une journée monastique à l’abbaye Sainte-Madeleine du Barroux
Mieux que lors d’une opération “portes ouvertes” découvrez la vie des moines du Barroux au cours d’une journée de travail et de prières. Des images superbes dans un cadre enchanteur pour goûter la splendeur de la liturgie monastique.
Narration de Michael Lonsdale
52 mn + bonus
‘Veilleurs dans la Nuit’
Sous-titrages en anglais, allemand, italien et espagnol (ainsi que français pour les malentendants)
Jusqu’au 31 mai : 17 € “
I did like this very much. The liturgical center of life is portrayed here in a way I did not sense in “Into Great Silence” and that is imperative I think. Holy Mass is the climax of every day. This film shows this and there is prayer before the Blessed Sacrament and all the beautiful chant and so on. Very very nice.
Margaret Collins is right:the bells first heard on your promo are English bells ringing English change ringing. I wonder why.
Nice clip :-) I have seen “into Great Silence” and this is like it. The organ music, however, is a slow movement from one of Bach’s organ trio sonatas…. protestant music in a Catholic EF-community…? ;-)
Very beautiful video. May God be praised. [Let’s leave off the “Pope” element of the handle, please. I edited it out.]
I’d buy it, says a Canuck.
I would be very interested in ordering a copy of the dvd about the monks of Saint Mary Magdalene Monastery in Le Barroux. But te region-code must be 0 (region free) or 2 (european) and there must be subtitles in english (or,even better ; in swedish).
I’d buy a copy or two but would need subtitles!
I loved it and would definitely be interested in a copy.
I visited this abbey a 3 or 4 years ago. As my first exposure to traditional monasticism, I have to say it was a life-chaning experience. I have two of their DVD’s now: the Abbatial blessing of Dom Louis Marie and the Dedication of the Nuns’ Chapel. I am in America and both of them work on my computer’s DVD drive and on about half of the DVD players I have tried them on. I would definately buy this DVD, with or without English subtitles, but they would enrich the experience. I am also planning on buying the Requiem DVD of Dom Gerard.
It’s not just a good Catholic identity, but also a very good Benedictine monastic identity. They have a very good structure there, both physically and, most importantly, spiritually. I have met several of the monks and they were very solid guys. The current abbot was the novice master at the time I visited and I was very impressed with him.
Ironically, I found my visit to Le Barroux to feel less “French” than visiting Clear Creek monastery in Oklahoma. Although I still think Clear Creek is a very good place too.
The commentary includes examples of some of the show-stoppers which only the French will use, but which to the English ear can sound very frank. A monk says of a critic: ” ‘But you serve absolutely no purpose at all,’ This was the finest comment they could make.” (explaining that they were were not serving a purpose, they were serving God and waiting for His coming.
There is almost a shocking clarity in Benedictine thought which can knock you off your feet. No waffle, no flannel. Talk too here of the absolute purpose of “fleeing the world,” quite unashamedly. Very un-PC in a climate where we are all supposed to be “deeply aware” of global warming, hugging trees, carbon footprints etc. No. The [Benedictine] monastic life is much clearer and better directed. It has aims; it focuses unambiguously on them, and gets on with them. That’s why there is nothing else to touch it. God bless them.
I would be interested in purchasing the DVD as well.
I would be very much interested in purchasing their DVD.
Definitely interested! It looks like it has English subtitles?
I would love to order a copy as well! This really looks beautifully done. God bless them and God bless the Church with more holy vocations!
As “Into Great Silence,” it touches my soul and arrests my mind. The chant is ethereal almost. I would add it to my collection, definitely.
Blessed monks: Yes, interested in a U.S. DVD format, English subtitled version. God bless you. Thank you for your prayers.
Wonderful! Most certainly would buy a copy.
Would buy a copy.
I also follow the Wyoming Carmelites and the Oklahoma Benedictines quite closely.
Yes, certainly interested. Would buy a copy if priced appropriately.
Yes, the clip was well done. I’d buy one. I think the most powerful thing I read in this entire posting was this: “In human terms, this life would be too difficult without grace.”
I’ve had the honor to visit Le Barroux twice.
Monasteries will lead our Church out of the abyss with their prayerful contemplation and sacrifice. May God bless and keep these good men. Also, please support them with financial contributions and prayers. They are deserving of whatever we can provide to them.
What beautiful and intriguing depictions!
I would order one as soon as I found that it was available to US customers.
Put me in for a DVD or whatever product the monks decide upon.
I would purchase at least five copies of a DVD (Four for use in USA, with English subtitles….Also one for Germany with German subtitles.)
Marvellous. I have many friends who come to me asking about various religious communitites. I tell them the only way to really get an idea is to visit, but this sort of thing would be a tremendous help.
Ha! They use Macs :-)
I’d love to have a copy; I can\’t get enough! I love the free DVD the Clear Creek monks sent to me – it looks similar, but not nearly as long or detailed. A layman produced it on visits.
I’m trilingual (French is fine, so is German, and of course English) personal preference is DVD, (North American).
I loved INTO GREAT SILENCE (ould love to have the DVD and the one mentioned in someone’s comment: the DVD on the REquiem for Dom Gerad.
Apologies. Don’t know what happened. Trying again: I would love to have this DVD and the DVD on the Requiem for Dom Gerad.
Our family would definitely be interested in purchasing this DVD.
There is something terrifying, yet alluring about the monastic life. God bless these men for their courage and devotion.
It’s reassuring to know that even as decay and heresy surround us, these great seeds are still perpetuating the life of the Church.
Yes, I would buy this DVD!
I will buy a couple of copies
Seeing “ora et labora” in practice is inspiring. We are so blessed to have these men praying for our troubled world. Would purchase.
Those pictures are beautiful! I don’t know if I would purchase a personal copy (I only have a small volunteer’s income), but I would definitely recommend it for schools or religion class teachers. I think it would be a great vocations tool for say, a confirmation class to see “what do monks do all day?”
In one picture, they are bottling something that looks green. Are these the monks that make Chartreuse liquor? Throw in a bottle with the DVD and I’m sold (just kidding).
Definitely interested in the DVD!
I’d buy a copy. Latin subtitles, please.
Rose, I am not sure about the format, but the DVD on Dom Gerard is already available on their website. As I mentioned, I have two of their other DVD’s that work on most computers I have tried in the US and on some (not all) DVD players I have tried in the US:
I would definitely buy one, also. It looks lovely.
Also, since the monks may be checking this post, and if Fr. Z will permit a momentary digression, I would also like to see more of their books translated into English, especially those by Dom Gerard, the one on the catechism, and the study on religious liberty. I have the three books on the liturgy published in English by St. Austin press, and have enjoyed them very much.
Mes freres, ainsi soit-il. J’ai besoin d’un DVD. Merci.
This gives hope. Twenty years ago, we were hearing this talk about Post-Christendom era in France. But now we see that they have more vocations than St. Anselm’s Abbey here in DC.
This would be an interesting watch, but English subtitles would be a requirement. If the target is DVD players then it would need to be NTSC format for North America. If it was filmed as PAL, this may be harder to accomplish as it would require framerate conversion and this is NEVER 100% accurate.
If the target is computer DVD playback, then format is not an issue as the computer is a progressive scan display and is independant of any framrate requirement. This means it will play perfectly irrespective of the format.
The monks might also think about an online streaming format with a donate button. No distribution cost there other than some minor bandwidth costs.
I would definitely like a copy.
from the usa
Count me in! English subtitles preferred.
I am so grateful for these men.
….sooooo….ahem…..anyone know the canonical procedure for switching Orders?….just asking….
Fr. Philip, OP
I would most definitely be interested…with or without English subtitles. The images of their life, the sacred liturgies, the sacred music…’tis beyond words. I live in the U.S.
joebe, actually it’s the Carthusians who make Chartreuse: http://chartreux.org/
Cf. the references to “Into Great Silence” throughout this combox — that’s a film about Carthusian life that came out a couple of years ago.
I will buy it for my son.
Love the shot from above of the Elevation, at what looks like a Requiem, toward the end of the promo. It’s reminiscent of those medieval/early-Renaissance paintings where there are always lots of people crammed into a tiny space — each doing his own job.
I remember Martin Mosebach mentioning an order like this in his excellent “Heresy of Formlessness.” Can’t remember if it was this specific monastery, and my book is boxed up. But it piqued my interest, and I’d love a copy of this DVD in US format with English subtitles as well.
I’ve always desired to visit that abbey. I would most definitely purchase the DVD if available!
I’d buy it!
Thank you for this promo. It is…. (what’s the English word for this?)…SUPERB! I felt such peace watching it. I gave the link to a few of my friends and we all were enthousiastic! I can think of at least 50 people I personally know of that would buy it, if it would cost €25 ($25) or less.
Now: where can I buy this? I can hook you up with a friend in The Netherlands who can translate and distribue it.
Yes, I think it will sell very well, all around the world!
Pace e bene,
Le Barroux is a very very special place. I was most privileged to visit there March last year with some of my children. We attended Mass offered one of these monks at the convent of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Annunciation just over the paddock.
I would definitely buy a copy of this DVD.
Most definitely. I’d buy it in a heartbeat.
I would definitely be interested. I want my sons to see this.
I am sure homeschoolers would be delighted to view this video as well.
I’d love to get this DVD.
Region 2 – UK. Please!
I’d love a copy of the DVD. Formatted for a U.S. DVD player, subtitled in English. Although I liked the comment someone made of Latin subtitles!
I live in America, and I *WOULD* purchase at least one copy.
Some DVD players, like the Phillips that I bought can be reprogrammed by yourself at home by hitting a few kestrokes on the remote that comes with the player. I did that with mine and I am able to play DVD\’s from the UK(like the Red Dwarf series from the UK) as well as domestic US DVD\’s. Simply google the \”DVD Player Hack Code\” and you\’ll find what you need to make your DVD player play European DVD\’s.
UPDATED ORDER INFORMATION: HERE.
Jeff M, the monastery mentioned by Mosebach was Fontgambault, the Motherhouse of Clear Creek in Oklahoma. There are many similarities between Fontgambault and Barroux (In fact one of the monks of Clear Creek told me that Le Barroux is one of the only non-Solesmes Congregation monasteries from which they will allow visiting monks to assist in their choir).
I think you really outdid yourself with this great post!
@ Mark82 : At Solesmes also, they allow Le Barroux visiting monks to assist in their choir. By the way, Le Barroux’s Gregoriant chant is IMHO much more better than Fontgombault’s one.
I would definitely buy one if I was sure it would play on my USA DVD player. Wonderful photos!!!
Count me in, I’ll buy 2
If only all monasteries were this observant – there would be no problem attracting good vocations.
wow, can I join? when are they going to send monks over to build an american counterpart? Inspiring to the say the least for someone considering a vocation.
From a techno peasant to the tech-savvy: before I place my order…will the DVD play on a Sony or Panasonic or Yamaha DVD player purchased in Canada?
I went to the site to order the DVD. I have not studied French since 1982, and have no idea where my old French-English dictionary is. Anyone who does not read French is going to have some difficulty ordering this DVD from their site. If they hope to have many people who are not French-speaking order this DVD, they should have the ordering information in additional languages (English would be nice). I tried to place an order for the DVD, and can only hope that it worked and that the information I entered was such that the DVD will, in fact, be delivered to me. I have no idea what the shipping costs are, or, indeed, what the total cost to me will be. I have no idea when — or if — it will be delivered to my address in the U.S. English “subtitles” would be nice on the ordering form as well as the DVD itself.
all 3 of my DVds from Le Barroux(Purchased over there) play on my cheap Nortek DVD player from Canada, it has on the menu-options, a switch for going between PAL/NTSC or automatic reading..they also work on my sisters (canada) new Panasonic.
I would definitely be interested in ordering at least 6 copies. I will give them as Christmas presents to my priests friends. Better make than 12 copies or so. Is there anyway to have the DVD spoken in English so I don’t have to use subtitles? Oremus pro invicem.
Beautiful! I would definitely order at least two or three copies
It is a great consolation to see these monastics and to hear the chanting and bells from their monastery and to know of their prayers within the church. Through this they can teach and communicate with the other monasteries, religious and laity of the church without breaking their cloister. I would wish to join if i could.
I’d love a copy!
Could anyone who has vistied Le Barroux, or who might know why anyway, explain why a priest is wearing a chasuble folded at the back for Vespers in the fifth picture from the last?
What you see in that photo is one of the ‘portes insignes’,that is, the servers who carry the miter or the crozier when they are not being used by the abbot in the course of a pontifical mass. The veil thingy the server is wearing is called a “vimpa”…a kind of humeral veil used to hold the miter or crozier.
This are truly wonderful photos. I’ve been to Barroux several times for retreats and I never fail to be impressed everytime I visit…not only with the beautiful surroundings and the monastery itself but above all the fidelity the monks have to their monastic life…true sons of St. Benedict. I can say the same thing for the monks of Fontgombault and Clear Creek as well. God bless them all…
On the DVD regions issue, google “DVD unlocking codes” and then search within results for your particular model of DVD player. You’ll most likely find some admittedly odd instructions; follow them and you’ll be able to set your player to Region 0 which means it’ll take any DVD from anywhere. The PAL/NTSC split may mean that a European DVD might jump or stick occasionally but mostly they’ll play without difficulty.
Sacerdos in Germania,
Thank you. How obtuse of me, I had not realised that vimpae could be other colours than white. Is the use of colours to match the vestments a monastic custom for abbatial functions? Splendid to see real dalmatics too.
No, this is not a monastic custom…colored vimpae can be used in any pontifical ceremony monastic or otherwise but the most common color is white.
I would buy a copy to give to the French teacher at my daughter’s Catholic high school. How long is this DVD?
Magnificent. There might be a mass exodus for the cloister if this type of documentary is widely available.
I am aspiring to enter the Benedictines of Silver City, NM, USA, in the fall.
Please say an Ave for me.
Thank you, God bless!
Scott-yes, there were a couple of monks of Le Barroux who went to Italy and founded the Benedictines of the Immaculate.
I believe there is a link on the ‘Traditional Vocations’ portion of the blog Roman Catholic Vocations:
romancatholicvocations.blog. [sorry Fr. Z, I don’t know how to highlight links-grins and shrugs]
wsxyz — Thank you for the suggestion on the google translate site for the ordering page on the monastery’s site. The order form page, though, produces this message when the url is submitted to google translate: “The page you requested attempted to redirect to itself, which could cause an infinite loop.” Didn’t work. I found, though, that if I went to the page and individually copied & pasted each of the individual phrases that it could be used in that way. Tedious, but will work for others trying to order. And now I know that I didn’t enter some of the info correctly when I ordered it yesterday. Hope it arrives even so. If not, c’est la vie.
I had a note from the monk at Le Barroux in charge of the DVD.
They are wondering about a guide for obtaining the DVD for English speakers. Would that be useful?
Have you been interested in the DVD and haven’t quite figured out what to do to order it?
Yes, a helpful guide for us english-speakers on how to order the dvd from the french website WOULD BE GREAT!
Father, I would be more than excited to get my hands on this DVD!
I would be interested in getting the DVD.
I would be interested in the DVD. My six year old son is facinated by monastic life since we received a dvd from the Carmelites of Wyoming. These videos can make folks concider a vocation they otherwise might have no knowledge of.
I’m planning to order one through a friend who’s French is better than mine.
A monk from from the monastery wrote to say:
I would love to have this DVD. This would be the perfect thing to watch if you were home sick in bed. Count me in.
I just purchased my copy and had no trouble completing the form, following the directions as given in the English PDF. I’m looking forward to receiving this DVD and have posted the promo on my Franciscan blog at http://littlescribe.blogspot.com . Thanks so much, Father, for sharing this with us.
Newman said “I could attend Mass forever and never grow tired”. This video has the same effect. I wept to see the Mass that brought me back to the Faith.
I’ve ordered a DVD and have asked in pigeon French for English sub-titles. Who knows, it may mean I get a chance to brush up on my French! I have an acknowledgement of purchase sent by email.
Perhaps the good monks could take a leaf out of your book, Father, and insert a “donate” button on the site.
Whoops! Meant pidgin . . .
Fantastic place, fantastic men. What an exemple of life consacred to Evangelium!
Me gustaria tener el video y la musica de la Abadia de Nuestra Senora Maria Magadela. El problema es que yo vivo en Belize y no se cuanto vale el envio aqui (creo que es costoso). Ademas, se me dificulta enviar dinero en Euros o en dolares de Estados Unidos. Tiene alguna sugerencia?
Muchas gracias y que Nuestro Senor Jesucristo los bendiga.
I felt ‘blessed’ just watching. They’re doing something right, what with all the young ones. The order of the whole thing is quite compelling, were I younger…
Our God is ROYAL and we will cast our crowns before Him.
Once again thanks for providing this gem.
North of Toronto
I would also like to have a copy of the DVD, but unfortunately I have no credit card or so.
Is there any other possibility to get a DVD?
I also would like to inform you that there is a Facebook group devoted to the Sainte-Madeleine Abbey of Le Barroux. For those interested, here it is the URL: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=75403274767. Please subscribe and post your comments, links, pictures, and so on !
If this video is produced in a format that I can plan on my TV, I will certainly buy one.
I WOULD PURCHASE IF CAN BE PLAYED IN AMERICAN DVD
I would love to buy one, but I cannot pay with Paypal- my only option :(