abbey of Einsiedeln

[abbey of Einsiedeln] Benedictine Monastery, Canton of Schwyz, Switzerland, founded c.934 by Eberhard. Its abbots were made princes of the empire by Otto I, and in 1274 the abbey and dependencies were created an independent principality by Rudolf of Hapsburg; they continued independent until the French Revolution. The abbot now has quasi-episcopal authority over 10 parishes served by the monks and comprising nearly 20,000 souls. For 1000 years Einsiedeln has been famous for its learning and piety. Its pilgrimages in honor of the miraculous statue of Our Lady set up by Saint Meinrad, attract from 150,000 to 200,000 annually. In 1854 a colony was sent to America and from its first settlement, Saint Meinrad's Abbey, Indiana, the Swiss-American congregation was founded.

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