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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Kade

Praying and Cooking

Michael and I celebrated our wedding anniversary by traveling to the Abbey Church Einsiedeln and later in the day taking another class at Sherly's in Zürich. This time, we did Korean Classic cooking.

Rain threatened most of the day but we only had about 10 to 15 minutes minutes of a very light rain. A rainbow shone over the hillside as we approached Einsiedeln, though.

Einsiedeln Abbey is a Benedictine monastery in the village of Einsiedeln. The abbey is dedicated to Our Lady of the Hermits, the title being derived from the circumstances of its foundation, for the first inhabitant of the region was Saint Meinrad, a hermit. It is a territorial abbey and, therefore, not part of a diocese subject to a bishop. It has been a major resting point on the Way of Saint James for centuries.

The Chapel of Our Lady represents the heart of the Einsiedeln place of pilgrimage. People from all over the world pray here to the Black Madonna.

"Meinrad was educated under his kinsmen, Abbots Hatto and Erlebald, at the abbey school at Reichenau, an island on Lake Constance, where he became a monk and was ordained a priest. After some years at Reichenau, and at a dependent priory on Lake Zürich, he embraced an eremitical life and established his hermitage on the slopes of mount Etzel. He died on January 21, 861, at the hands of two robbers who thought that the hermit had some precious treasures, but during the next 80 years the place was never without one or more hermits emulating Meinrad's example. One of them, named Eberhard, previously Provost of Strassburg, in 934 erected a monastery and church there, of which he became first abbot.

The church is alleged to have been miraculously consecrated, so the legend runs, in 948, by Christ himself assisted by the Four Evangelists, St. Peter, and St. Gregory the Great. This event was investigated and confirmed by Pope Leo III and subsequently ratified by many of his successors, the last ratification being by Pope Pius VI in 1793, who confirmed the acts of all his predecessors.

In 965 Gregory, the third Abbot of Einsiedeln, was made a prince of the Holy Roman Empire by Emperor Otto I, and his successors continued to enjoy the same dignity up to the cessation of the empire in the beginning of the 19th century. In 1274, the abbey, with its dependencies, was created an independent principality by Rudolf I of Germany, over which the abbot exercised temporal as well as spiritual jurisdiction. It remained independent until 1798, the year of the French invasion. It is still a territorial abbey, meaning that it is located in a territory that is not part of any diocese which the abbot governs "as its proper pastor" with the same authority as a diocesan bishop.

Einsiedeln has been famous for a thousand years, for the learning and piety of its monks, and many saints and scholars have lived within its walls. The study of letters, printing, and music have greatly flourished there, and the abbey has contributed largely to the celebrity of the Benedictine Order. It is true that discipline declined somewhat in the fifteenth century and the rule became relaxed, but Ludovicus II, a monk of St. Gall who was Abbot of Einsiedeln 1526-44, succeeded in restoring a stricter observance."

"In the 16th century the religious disturbances caused by the spread of the Protestant Reformation in Switzerland were a source of trouble for some time. Zwingli himself was at Einsiedeln for a while, and used the opportunity for protesting against the famous pilgrimages, but the storm passed over and the abbey was left in peace. Abbot Augustine I (1600–29) was the leader of the movement which resulted in the erection of the Swiss Congregation of the Order of St. Benedict in 1602, and he also did much for the establishment of unrelaxed observance in the abbey and for the promotion of a high standard of scholarship and learning amongst his monks."

On entering Einsiedeln Monastery abbey, you find yourself opposite the Chapel of Our Lady fashioned from black marble. It occupies the place where St. Meinrad lived. Built in the 1st century as a "chapel of hermits" (Einsiedler means hermit in German), legend has it that it was consecrated by angels. Over time, the figure of Mary, Mother of God ("Our Lady") became an ever stronger point of attraction. The present late Gothic holy image of Our Lady of Einsiedeln found its way into the chapel following a fire in the 15th century. Over the centuries, dust and soot from candles, oil lamps and incense blackened the lime wood figure, until finally in 1803 the face and hands were painted over with black paint.

"The pilgrimages which have never ceased since the days of St Meinrad, have tended to make Einsiedeln on a par with the Holy House of Loreto and Santiago de Compostela, serving as a major stopping point on the Way of St. James leading there. Pilgrimages constitute one of the features for which the abbey is chiefly celebrated. The pilgrims number around one million, from all parts of Catholic Europe or even further. The statue of Our Lady from the 15th century, enthroned in the little chapel erected by Eberhard, is the object of their devotion. It is the subject of the earliest preserved print of pilgrimage, by the Master 1466. The chapel stands within the great abbey church, in much the same way as the Holy House at Loreto is encased in a marble shrine and is elaborately decorated."

Very early on, Mary and the baby Jesus were draped in textiles that left only their faces and hands exposed. Today they possess a handsome wardrobe with splendid garments and ornaments. They are dressed according to the religious feast of the day.

The chapel has burned down several times; it was also destroyed during the French Revolution, but the most valuable parts could be saved from the plundering soldiers. This included the Black Madonna. The chapel was rebuilt in the Classicist style between 1815 to 1817 using demolition material: this is what the visitor admires today.

Sacred Heart of Jesus

Covid has changed so many things!

They even write the times when the church will be cleaned, Reinigung

"September 14 and October 13 are the chief pilgrimage days, the former being the anniversary of the miraculous consecration of Eberhard's basilica and the latter that of the translation of St Meinrad's relics from Reichenau Island to Einsiedeln in 1039. The millennium of St Meinrad was kept there with great splendour in 1861 as well as that of the Benedictine monastery in 1934. The great church has been many times rebuilt, the last time by Abbot Maurus between the years 1704 and 1719. The last big renovation ended after more than twenty years in 1997. The library contains nearly 250,000 volumes and many priceless manuscripts. The work of the monks is divided chiefly between prayer, work and study. At pilgrimage times the number of confessions heard is very large.

In 2013, the community numbered 60 monks. Attached to the abbey are a seminary and a college for about 360 pupils who are partially taught by the monks, who also provide spiritual direction for six convents of Religious Sisters."

In 1854, when the monastery was again facing suppression, a colony was sent to the United States from Einsiedeln to minister to the local German-speaking population and to develop a place of refuge, if needed. The delegation started a new foundation, now St. Meinrad Archabbey in St. Meinrad, Indiana, which became part of the Swiss-American Congregation formed in 1881. As of 2020, the Swiss-American Congregation consists of seventeen monasteries from Canada to Guatemala, six of which were founded from the lineage of Einsiedeln Abbey."

The Stations of the Cross take you around the grounds of the abbey.

In Einsiedel both Pionierschanzen were constructed with a steel-made inrun tower in 1971. They are still covered with the old but still working plastic mattings, but no longer used for competitions. While the young jumpers of Einsiedel practiced there very successfully until late 80’s, today the jump is mainly used by alpine training groups. We could see this from the train.

At six o'clock we went back to Sherly's Kitchen in Zürich for another three hour cooking class. This time is was Korean Home Cooking. By the time we arrived back in Interlaken/Unterseen around midnight, after a two hour train ride from Zürich, Sherly had sent the recipes.

We divided the prep into groups. Afterwards, each group then was able to make their own green onion pancake and bulgogi.

All the ingredients were on the table and we had to follow the instructions.

Michael and I were in charge of the green onion pancake prep. He mixed the batter and I did the dipping sauce.

For the seafood we used shrimp and calamari.

This should be eaten immediately. Each group made one, then they went to enjoy it. Afterwards, the other member of the group made one. These were delicious!!!!

We had to increase the recipe by 6 times as there were 7 of us.

Beat egg with chopsticks

Michael was first to make the green onion pancake.

This was for the bulgogi

Sherly showed us how to cut the cucumbers. You should be able to easily pick it up with a chopstick.

Adding the onions

After letting the cucumbers sit for awhile, drain out the water.

We added garlic to taste.

I didn't take any pictures of this being prepped.

We even took some home for breakfast.

We grated a sweet apple instead of a Korean pear.

Making the sauce for the bulgogi

We were taught how to eat bulgogi.

Classes are always so much fun!!!!!!!


We had a history lesson and a funny story about how the Korean women fought off the Japanese with chopped onions.

Anyong is a casual form of greeting in Korean meaning" hello" as well as "goodbye". The word is taken from the root word meaning peace, rest, and security.

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