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A Program of Spiritual Formation for Candidates to the Priesthood

The Lay Monastic Community of Caryana






        Intellectual activity during this time slackened.  Only the monastic schools retained hhigh intellectual levels.  All other schools specially those for the children of the upper classes and those destined for the priesthood were mediocre.   

        Catholic Africa was lost to Islam; Italy suffered from the Lombard wars.  In Gaul, writers were ignorant, could not connect ideas intelligently; their writings revealed intellectual decadence.

        Spain maintained excellent Cathedral schools, like Toledo and Seville under St. Isidore. 

        The Irish monks excelled in education and sent missionaries to establish excellent schools abroad.  Foreign students went to Ireland to study in Lismore, Armach, Bobbio, Luxeuil, and in the monastery of St. Gall.  The brightest minds were educated by the Irish monks in Irish monasteries. 

        From these monastic schools came the scholars, writers and leaders of the time. 

        As in earlier times in Christianity, the saints that brightened the Catholic Church were all monks:  Sts. Isidore and Ildephonsus from Spain, John of Biclaro and Benedict Biscop (who introduced to England the art of making glass windows),  St. Aldhelm (the first who cultivated classical learning with success), St. Adamnam (who wrote the most complete biography of the Middle Ages), St. Jonas of Bobbio, St. John Climacus (whose Scala Paradisi is a classical work on Christian Spirituality), and St. Maximus (whose Centuries of Charity was likewise a classic of spirituality in the East.) 








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