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Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2494

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Nuns open childhood home of ‘saintly’ Mother Foundress as chapel and centre of pilgrimage


The Tyburn Nuns – an order of contemplative Benedictines depicted in the stained glass windows of Shrewsbury Cathedral – have officially opened the childhood home of the foundress of their order as a chapel and a centre of pilgrimage.

Maison Garnier in Grancey-le-Château, Burgundy, France, was formally opened during a Mass in the afternoon of August 15 – 180 years to the day when Mother Marie-Adèle Garnier, the foundress of the Adorers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, of Montmartre, Order of Saint Benedict, was born there.

The nuns had purchased the property just months after the Bishop Joseph de Metz-Noblat of Langres, France, placed their mother foundress on the road to sainthood.

They have installed a chapel which has been dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption, whose feast is celebrated on August 15, and hope that it will serve as a destination for pilgrims who wish to honour Mother Marie-Adèle as her cause for canonisation as a saint makes progress.

The nuns have also founded a museum and information centre dedicated to the life of Mother Marie-Adèle at the site and have converted a large part the house for use as a conference and retreat centre for day groups and some overnight guests.

Her house had been previously been used as a police station and a tourist information office. It became available for purchase shortly after her sainthood cause was introduced by the Bishop of Langres at a convent of the Tyburn Nuns at St Loup-sur-Aujon, some 20 miles away, and was bought outright by the nuns for an undisclosed sum thanks to benefactors from all over the world who answered an appeal for help.

Mother Marilla Aw OSB, the Superior General of the Tyburn Nuns, said: “We give thanks to the Sacred Heart for this historic moment for our Congregation. Our sisters from all over the world are gathered here together to remember the birth of our foundress – the birth of our Monastic Family.

“We hope that the opening of this house will be an impetus for many people to come to know the charism of our Mother Foundress who is now a Servant of God. Her teachings are profound, and she has already led many souls to the adoration of the Heart of Jesus hidden in the Eucharist.”

The Adorers are known worldwide as the “Tyburn Nuns” because their mother house, or convent, stands close to the site of the London gallows where 105 canonised and beatified Catholic martyrs were executed during the Protestant Reformation.

The include the Shrewsbury martyrs St Margaret Ward, Blessed Robert Johnson, Blessed John Shert and Blessed Richard Martin.

The convent near Marble Arch was founded by Mother Marie-Adèle and it was the place where she died in 1924.

The order has spread around the world in the last half century. They were invited to open a house in Rome by Pope St John Paul II and recently they opened their first convent in France.

It is a contemplative order and the nuns pray perpetually before the Eucharist in each of their convents.

Margaret Rope depicted the Tyburn Nuns at prayer in one of the many windows she created for Shrewsbury Cathedral. Another of her windows shows the Blessed Sacrament being elevated from the balcony of Tyburn Convent. Some of Rope’s finest works also adorn the Martyrs’ Crypt and reliquary at Tyburn Convent.