Silverstream Priory

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Silverstream Arms.jpg

Our monastery coat of arms was designed by Marco Foppoli.

The Motto

Around the coat of arms is the motto of our Priory, taken from the Book of the Prophet Daniel (ch. 9, v. 17): Illumina Faciem tuam super sanctuarium tuum, "Cause thy Face to shine upon thy Sanctuary": we beg the Lord Jesus, that he may cause the "deifying Light" (Prologue, Rule of St Benedict) of his Eucharistic Face to enlighten the entire Church, his Body, the Tabernacle of his Presence upon earth.

The Monstrance

The most prominent feature of our coat of arms is the golden Monstrance containing the Sacred Host, reflecting the special charism of our community: Benedictine life ordered toward Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament. The Host bears the word PAX ("Peace"), and is enclosed in a golden Crown of Thorns, a reference to the full motto of the Benedictine Order: Pax inter spinas ("Peace among thorns"). We can follow in the footsteps of the Lord Jesus towards the "peace which passes all understanding" (Philippians 4:7) only through participation in his Passion and Cross.

The Raven

At the foot of the Monstrance is a black Raven with a scrap of Bread in his mouth, a symbol of Divine Providence which features largely in St Gregory the Great's account of our blessed Father Benedict's early days as a hermit at Subiaco, and in the biblical story of the Prophet Elias (to whom Benedict is often compared). We believe strongly that Divine Providence brought us to Silverstream, and continues to feed us with both our "Daily Bread" and our "Supersubstantial Bread" (the Eucharist), just as he provided sustenance to the young Benedict and the Prophet.

The Silver Stream

The background (field) of the shield (escutcheon) is blue (azure), symbolizing the Irish Sea, which we can see from the Priory. A silver Stream (reflecting the name of the property to which God has brought us, "Silverstream" in Stamullen, Co. Meath) runs through the background. The name "Silverstream" has strong biblical and liturgical resonances, such as:

And he shewed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street thereof, and on both sides of the river, was the tree of life, bearing twelve fruits, yielding its fruits every month, and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no curse any more; but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and his servants shall serve him. And they shall see his Face: and his name shall be on their foreheads. And night shall be no more: and they shall not need the light of the lamp, nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God shall enlighten them, and they shall reign for ever and ever. (Apocalypse 22:1-5)

Our Lady

The colour blue, as well as the star in the left hand portion of the shield, also recall our blessed Lady, the Stella Maris ("Star of the Sea"), to whom our monastery is dedicated (under the title "Our Lady of the Cenacle"). The star is also eight pointed, the number eight being symbolic of the "Eighth Day" of the resurrection of the body and the life of the world to come. The Mother of God is the Regina Caeli, the Queen of Heaven, and the Porta Caeli, that is, our gateway to heaven and eternal life.

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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