In the month of November, Cistercians devote a day in the liturgical calender to praying for their deceased abbots and superiors. The Martyrium abbatis (martyrdom of serving as abbot) is well-known. We pray for those men who served us, tolerated us, helped make us holy.
Abbot Alois Wiesinger of Schlierbach, who served his abbey in Upper Austria 1917-1955, was revered as the renewer of Schlierbach Abbey and the German translator of Chautard's "Soul of the Apostolate".
Abbot General Matthew Quatember, still revered today as the man who built the Curia Generalis O.Cist. in Rome. He died 1953, soon after its completion and exhausted from his labors. He lay in state in the Lady Chapel he had built. The next day he was transported to Poblet for a funeral, for which Generalissimo Franco ordered full military honors.
Alexis Presse, a profoundly ascetic monk and the charismatic abbot of Boquen, is seen here as his confreres pray the officium defunctorum for him. He will have been buried just hours later.