The Holywell Community in Abergavenny was joined by Anglican monks of Mucknell Abbey at Vespers at St Mary’s Priory Church on May Bank Holiday Monday as the former Herbert Chapel was dedicated to St Benedict and an Icon of St Benedict was received and hallowed.
The Icon was written by Br Michäel of Mucknell who describes himself as “still a novice in the art and this icon is only (my) seventh to date.”
Icons are said to be a Sacred Art. By this, we mean that icons are not supposed to be displayed in a corridor or on a staircase wall and admired for the sake of it but have very much a liturgical function. As part of the liturgy, Icons are there to help us to draw closer to God.
The Herbert Chapel was named after the Herbert family who are buried there, but like all the Chapels in the Priory it is being renamed after a Saint.
The Prior, Canon Mark Soady, said: “As St Benedict’s Rule has been followed here on and off for nearly 1,000 years it seemed right to have a Chapel set aside to remember him. In addition to being the founder of Western Monasticism St Benedict is also the Patron Saint of Europe; and though we may have voted to leave the EU we are still part of the Continent of Europe, so under his patronage.”
One of those buried in the Chapel is Sir Richard Herbert. Sir Richard was brought up at Raglan Castle with the young Henry VII and fought alongside him when he claimed the crown off Richard III at Bosworth. Sir Richard was the illegitimate son of the 1st Earl of Pembroke, William Herbert.
Pic cap: Fr Mark receives the Icon from Br Michäel