Joseph van Caloen

Loppem 12.03.1853 - Antibes 16.01.1932

Joseph van Caloen was privately educated in the Dutch language by Guido Gezelle, among others. He produced a number of treatises for Rond den Heerd. In 1868 he wanted to go to Italy as a zouave but was rejected on medical grounds. He joined the “Société Archéologique de Bruges'' in May 1870. Encouraged by Gezelle he published his first work, printed by Modest Delplace, in 1871. In 1872 he became a member of the History society in Bruges. At the end of the same year he joined the Benedictines in Maredsous and he was ordained priest on December 23rd, 1876. In 1877 he became prior and master of novices at the abbey. On November 3rd, 1881 he founded an abbey school in Maredsous and became its first rector. He established a library in Maredsous and became the first librarian. In 1882 he published the first liturgical prayer book in French and was the founder of the Revue Bénédictine. He was appointed procurator of the Congregation of Beuron in Rome (1886) and headmaster of the St-Anselm’s college in Rome. He also founded the abbey Keizersberg in Louvain. In 1895 he travelled to Brazil and became the abbot of Olinda (1896) and Rio de Janeiro (1905). On June 16th, 1901 he established a Benedictine abbey in St Andries (the abbey of Zevenkerken) and he was ordained titular bishop of Phocea at Maredsous. Between 1908 and May 18th, 1919 he was the archabbot of the Brazilian congregation. He returned ill to the abbey of St Andries in Brugge and from 1925 onwards he lived in Antibes.

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