Michaelmas Day Window at St. Michael's Abbey in Silverado, California

Many thanks to G Photography and Films for the wonderful images of the annual celebration of Michaelmas Day at St. Michael's Abbey in Orange County, California. The new abbey church was designed by the French architect Jean-Louis Pagès, who drew his inspiration from a 12th-century monastery in Provence, France, which also influenced his design of Le Barroux, a well-known Benedictine monastery also in Provence.

The new abbey church in California hosts a delightful event every year on the feast of St. Michael that draws many visitors.  

The architect positioned the church facing east so that the sun from the rose window sets on the high altar every year on St. Michael’s Day, providing a dramatic moment at Vespers. This takes place only one time a year in the late afternoon when the position of the sun perfectly aligns for a brief moment as the Canons sing the Magnificat in honor of Our Lady. A plenary indulgence is offered by the Apostolic Penitentiary to those who visit on this occasion. 

A time lapse video of the event can be seen here

The feast of St. Michael at the end of September is therefore a terrific day to visit the abbey, to witness this wondrous marvel of cosmography. Additionally, the abbey offers on this day the public veneration of a relic attached to St. Michael. Afterwards, the packed pews spill out into the courtyard for a joyous reception, with many remarking that this is what heaven must be like. 

A very interesting explanatory video can be seen here. God bless this wonderful community of Norbertines and we wish them continued success as they labor in the Lord's vineyards.  

(Photo by Fr. Joseph Horn, O.Praem)

(Photo by Fr. Joseph Horn, O.Praem)

(Photo by Fr. Joseph Horn, O.Praem)

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