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September, 948, he was aroused at midnight by the sounds of angelic minstrelsy, and was informed next day, by a voice from heaven, that there was no need for him to proceed with the sacred rite, as the church had been already consecrated by the powers of heaven and by the presence of the Saviour! The pope pronounced this a true miracle, and, in consideration of it, granted plenary indulgence to all pilgrims who should repair to the shrine of Our Lady of the Hermits, in the words inscribed upon the church, “Hic est plena remissio peccatorum à culpâ et à pænâ.” The consequence of this has been that during 9 centuries there has been an almost uninterrupted influx of pilgrims from the surrounding countries to this shrine, and of wealth to the monastery. In process of time these pious benefactions increased its revenues and domains to an enormous extent; it ranked second to St. Gall alone of all the monasteries in Switzerland. Its abbot became a prince of the holy Roman empire, with a seat in the diet. He had his hereditary officers, his chamberlains, marchal, and cupbearer; and these posts were filled by personages of noble or princely rank. He also enjoyed the right of criminal jurisdiction and the power of life and death in several parishes and circles. Down to the 16th century the abbots themselves were of noble families.

The French revolutionary invaders of 1798 stripped Einsiedeln of its resources and treasures, and carried off the figure of the Virgin to Paris; but the monks, on abandoning the convent, transported with them into Tyrol a duplicate figure, which they assert to be the authentic original, Notwithstanding these untoward circumstances, the abbey remains at the present day the richest in Switzerland, and the Black Virgin, whether an original or a copy, has lost none of her reputation. The average annual number of pilgrims who receive the sacrament in the church is 150,000. In the course of the year 1700 there were 202,000; in 1834, 36,000 pilgrims repaired to the shrine within a fortnight. Every parish of Canton Schwytz, and most of the other Roman Catholic Cantons, send an annual deputation hither, headed by the Landamman and the authorities. The Roman Catholics of Switzerland, indeed, for the most part, make 2 or 3 journeys hither, in the course of their lives. Many of the pilgrims are deputies paid by others, wealthier sinners, to do penance for their principals, who remain at home, and a pilgrimage thus performed by proxy is rendered equally efficacious with one made in person.

In 1835, the convent contained 77 monks of the Benedictine order, including lay-brothers, novices, etc.

In the square in front of the convent stands a fountain, with 14 jets of water, from all of which the pilgrims drink,

as it is traditionally reported, that our Saviour drank from one, but from which of them is not known. In the centre of the pile of conventual buildings stands, as is usual in Benedictine monasteries, the Church, which has been compared with that of St. John Lateran at Rome. The interior is somewhat gaudily ornamented with inferior paintings, marble and gilding. A few feet from the entrance stands the Shrine or Chapel of the Virgin,of black marble, with a grating in front, through which, by the glare of an ever-burning lamp, the spectator perceives the palladium of the temple, a Jittle black figure of the Virgin and Child, attired in gold brocade, glittering with jewels, and bearing crowns of gold on their heads. The space in front of the shrine is rarely free of worshippers, and commonly hundreds, nay, at times, thousands of devotees may by seen prostrate before it. The walls of this part of the church are literally covered with votive tablets, rude paintings in oil, on which no kind of accident or misfortune is omitted, though they are chiefly devoted to representations of escapes from fire and water, all, effected by the supposed miraculous interference of the image. Its influence, however, is not limited to incidents of private life; many of the great events of history, such as the victory of the Roman Catholic cantons at Kappel, are classed among the triumphant interpositions of our Lady of the Hermits. 250 new votive tablets were hung up in 1835, older ones being removed to make way for them.

In the Chapel of the Magdalene, à church of itself in size, on the I. of the choir, are 28 confessionals, over each of which is written the language in which confessions will be received in it, either German, Italian, French, or Romansch.

· The Treasury, once so rich in church plate, was plundered by the French in 1798, and one splendid monstrance alone remains, but it is not readily shown. The monastery includes, besides the lodgings for the Abbot, and the brethren, a handsome refectory, a kitchen, an hospital, a library, containing 26,000, vols., a museum, containing some fossils and minerals, a free school, and boarding-school, the pupils of which are taught by the monks, and a large cellar running under the greater part of the edifice. During meals, passages of some approved author, such as Lingard's History of England, Cobbett's History of the Reformation, etc. are read aloud to the assembled brotherhood, and even at times portions of newspapers..

Zwingli, the reformer, was curate of Einsiedeln from 1516 to 1519. Theophrastus Paraselsus von Hohenheim was born here, or in the neighbourhood, in 1498.

The following description relates to the last jubilee celebrated at Einsiedeln, in September 1834.

“The place is annually visited by many thousand pilgrims especially on the 14th September, and whenever the 14th falls on a Sunday, the festivities are greater than usual.

“For the last ten days, even before we left Baden, ana while in the French territory, we have met at almost every step troops of pilgrims plodding on their way to this Swiss Loretto. The parties seemed generally members of one family, or of one village, from the similarity of their dress, and they were invariably repeating their aves and pater-nosters aloud as they passed along, or uniting together in singing a hymn. They consisted almost entirely of the lower class of peasants, who repair to this spot from far and wide. Al satia and Lorraine, the Black Forest, Suabia, the Grisons, Bavaria,-and the whole of Switzerland, all contribute their quota to augment the throng; thousands usually issue out of Tyrol, but the Austrians this year have refused to let any persons go into Switzerland without passports, which has served as a complete preventive to their undertaking the journey.

“ It was growing dusk as we entered the valley in wbich Einsiedeln lies. Just as we began to descend our attention was roused by the repeated reports of cannon, which, though loud in themselves, awakened echoes in the adjacent hills, which made it appear as though a whole broadside had been fired. Soon after, the deep-toned bells of the convent began to sound, the firing ceased, and the long and loudly-repeated prayers of the pilgrims whom we passed on the road proclaimed that it was the hour of vespers.

“ As we drew nearer the bells had ceased, and we heard the sound of a drum and band of music. This odd jumble of noises, profane intermixed with sacred, which gave me no very distinct idea of what was going forward, was afterwards explained by the intelligence that the pilgrimage is not considered a religious matter only, but is mixed up with somewhat of festivity-which induces the brotherhood of the convent to pay for salvos and feux de joie, while they encourage the forming of a band of music composed of the towns-people. Their performance is pretty much on a par with that which is found in the booths of a fair in England, but under its escort we entered the town. The musicians had just paraded to the end of the street of which Einsiedeln consists, and were returning, followed by a crowd large enough to stop our progress till it had passed. The one street which I have mentioned is, with scarcely an exception, composed entirely of inns and pothouses, principally for the reception of the poorer pilgrims. As the band passed by, every window

was crowded with projecting heads, which had a curious effect, lighted up by the solitary lantern which dangles in front of each house.

" The inn. where I was lucky enough to find lodging (with the threat of having two other persons put into the same room, in case more visitors should arrive), is directly in front of the convent and church, and as soon as I had finished my supper I issued out to explore it. I found it already crowded with pilgrims, partly met to keep the eve of the festival, partly to take up their night's lodging in the church. For ibough a bed may be had in the town for the value of a halfpenny, and a supper for as little, many of these people are so poor that they cannot afford to pay for a bed; their only food is a crust of bread and a bit of cheese, which they bring with them, and they must pass the vigil in the open air if the church be not opened to receive them.

As I elbowed my way into the church I found it dark except one solitary lamp before the altar, and a few candles, brought in by the people themselves and laid on the pavement, or placed on their laps to enable them to read their prayerbooks. The crowd was very great, for, though the gloom prevented my seeing the extent of it, the sounds which burst on my ears as I entered the door were such as could only arise from thousands. It was a confused mixture of sounds, singing in all tones and tunes, many very shrill, and as a bass to this, a low long-continued murmur or buzzing. I found that the singing proceeded from many distinct parties in different parts of the church, each composed of the members of one family or parish, who were now practising here the hymns they were accustomed to sing together in concert at home, but without any attention to the tune which their rrext neighbours were chanting. The partial but vivid light thrown upon visages hard and soft, though mostly of the former character, and the total blackness of the back-ground, would have furnished a painter with many a novel effect. The low and uninterrupted buzzing came I found from a vast and dense crowd stationed near the entrance of the church, in front of the chapel which contains the miraculous black image of the Virgin, the ostensible object of this pilgrimage, which shines in silk and jewels, lighted up by a great number of lamps. The little chapel stands in the middle of the church, and is open only on one side, on which the image can be seen through an iron grille. Fortunate were those among the crowd of devotees who could manage to place themselves in a position where a view was to be obtained of it. By far the greater part were quite out of sight of it, but still all persevered with the same devout mumbling of prayers, with ex

pressions of extreme devotion, intent upon their books or rosaries.

“ Next morning I was suddenly awakened by a great concussion which shook the house and made me start. It was again the discharge of cannon and rockets to open the festival. Daylight had not yet dawned, but I heard the sound of nuInerous foot-steps pacing across the square to the church. About half past nine I repaired again to ihe church. I knew how thronged it would be, and therefore took the precaution of securing admission to the gallery, from which I looked down upon a sea of heads, into which the bases of the pillars of the church appeared to be sunk. Every aisle and angle was crammed, and whenever a movement was made by those endeavouring to enter or depart, the space was instantly filled up as though a drop of water had been displaced. I know no mode of giving an idea of the numbers; the exact number cannot be ascertained till to-morrow, when a census is made of the persons to whom wafers have been distributed by the priests in the communion. I placed myself immediately above the high altar, so as to see the whole ceremony of high mass performed in its greatest pomp. The legate sent by the Pope as resident in Switzerland, who officiated, was an archbishop; he was attended by two bishops. The splendour of his robes, which he put on one after the other—the mitre and crosier, assumed or laid down from time to time, as different parts of the ceremony were performed the satin shoes—the purple train, borne up by atiendants as he moved to and fro between his throne and the altar-had a very impusing effect.

“ To have an idea of the great solemnity of the whole ceremony, you must take into consideration the host of fervent worshippers assembled before the altar, filling the whole body of the church as far as the eye could reach, aided by the effect of the most solemn music performed by a full band and two organs. The whole was worked up to a height at the moment when the legate finally receives the cup, and afterwards bestows his benediction and absolution upon the congregated pilgrims. The thunder of drums, trumpets, and diapasons of the organs, was, as it appeared to me, assisted by some machinery by which the roof of the church was struck, in order to produce the effect of the building having been sha-, ken: at the same moment a signal is given on the outside, the bells begin to toll, and the cannons are fired off from the neigbouring hills. This over, the organs commence some popular overture, from Mozart or Rossini, and the people rush out to bargain for relics, at the booths érected round ihe church, which give the square in front the appearance of a

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