Christmas Fruitcakes and the Monks of Ava, Missouri

Always popular during Christmas season, you may have heard about or eaten the fruitcakes of Assumption Abbey, which is located southeast of Springfield, Missouri in the heart of the Ozarks. Guests are welcome for prayer and meditation. The monks are popularly known as Trappists, but are formally part of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, which was established in France in 1098.

St. Bernard of Clairvaux was the order’s most famous and energetic early abbot, serving for 38 years. He oversaw the spread of the order to other parts of Europe. These monks follow a rigorous interpretation of the Rule of St. Benedict.

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