On May 21, 1996 seven Trappist monks were executed by the Groupe Islamique Armé, (GIA). On the 17th anniversary of their death we remember them and hold all Trappists in our prayers. Here are some links that can help us to explore the event and the Trappist order.
The photo is a still from the movie, Of Gods and Men: http://www.sonyclassics.com/ofgodsandmen/
From the press kit: “Eight French Christian monks live in harmony with their Muslim brothers in a monastery perched in the mountains of North Africa in the 1990s. When a crew of foreign workers is massacred by an Islamic fundamentalist group, fear sweeps though the region. The army offers them protection, but the monks refuse. Should they leave? Despite the growing menace in their midst, they slowly realize that they have no choice but to stay… come what may. This film is loosely based on the life of the Cistercian monks of Tibhirine in Algeria, from 1993 until their kidnapping in 1996.”
Order of Cistercians of the Strict Order (OCSO) OR Trappist monks http://www.ocso.org/
The Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (also known as “Trappists”) is a Roman Catholic contemplative religious order, consisting of monasteries of monks and monasteries of nuns. We are part of the larger Cistercian family which traces its origin to 1098. As Cistercians we follow the Rule of St Benedict, and so are part of the Benedictine family as well. Our lives are dedicated to seeking union with God, through Jesus Christ, in a community of sisters or brothers. — from their website.
Thomas Merton OCSO is the most famous Trappist of recent times. See this site at Bellarmine University: http://merton.org/
Thomas Merton (1915-1968) was a writer and Trappist monk at Our Lady of Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky. His writings include such classics as The Seven Storey Mountain, New Seeds of Contemplation, and Zen and the Birds of Appetite. Merton is the author of more than seventy books that include poetry, personal journals, collections of letters, social criticism, and writings on peace, justice, and ecumenism. — from their website