Dom Columba Marmion - Chronology

January 13, 2023
Source: District of Asia
Abbot Marmion

Joseph Marmion was born in Dublin in 1858 of an Irish father and a French mother. At the end of his secondary schooling, he was received at the seminary of Clonliffe. Having finished his priestly studies in Rome, he was ordained there in 1881, and was named assistant at Dundrum and, later, professor of philosophy at the seminary of Clonliffe. A visit to Maredsous on his return from Italy was the occasion of his calling to the monastic life. In 1886 he returned to the Belgian abbey and asked to be admitted as a novice. Once professed, he was assigned to various posts: he was soon made professor of philosophy; then, in 1899, he was sent to Mont-César at Louvain as Prior and professor of theology, positions which he filled for ten years. In 1909 he was made Abbot of Maredsous, where he died on January 30, 1923, leaving behind him the memory of a great monk with an intense interior life, of a consummate theologian, and of a contemplative and an apostle of indefatigable zeal.


  • April 1, 1858: Joseph Aloysius Marmion born in Dublin.
  • January, 1874-November 16, 1879: Philosophy studies and beginning of theology at Holy Cross Seminary at Clonliffe, near Dublin.
  • November, 1879-July, 1881: Theological studies in Rome, at the Propaganda College.
  • August or September, 1880: Visit to the abbey of Monte Cassino.
  • June 16, 1881: Ordination to the priesthood in Rome.
  • End of July, 1881: First visit to Maredsous.
  • September, 1881-October, 1882: Curate at Dundrum (Dublin).
  • October, 1882-October, 1886: Professor at Clonliffe.
  • November 21, 1886: Entered Maredsous.
  • February 10, 1888: Monastic profession.
  • August 9, 1890: Dom Hildebrand de Hemptinne succeeds Dom Placid Wolter as Abbot of Maredsous; then in November, 1893, becomes also Abbot-Primate of the whole Benedictine Order.
  • 1895: Dom Columba preaches his first retreat to nuns.
  • 1899-1909: Prior of Mont-César, Louvain.
  • February 7, 1906: Mgr. Mercier is appointed Archbishop of Malines.
  • September 19, 1909: Abbot-Primate Hildebrand de Hemptinne announces his resignation of the abbacy of Maredsous.
  • September 28, 1909: Dom Columba is elected Abbot of Maredsous.
  • October 3, 1909: He receives the abbatial blessing.
  • February-March, 1912: Journey to Rome with Cardinal Mercier.
  • March 3, 1912: First audience with Pope St. Pius X.
  • September-October, 1912: Voyage to Germany, Austria, and Rome on business concerning the Congregation and the Order.
  • September 22, 1912: Second audience with St. Pius X.
  • March, 1913: First stay at the Monastery of Caldey Island.
  • April-June 1913: Journey to Italy for the jubilee celebrations of Monte Cassino, and the election of a Coadjutor to the Abbot-Primate (elected May 13).
  • May 16, 1913: Third audience with St. Pius X (accompanied by the Abbot of Caldey).
  • June-July, 1913: Second journey to Caldey.
  • August 13, 1913: Death of Dom Hildebrand de Hemptinne at Beuron.
  • Augue 4, 1914: Belgium is invaded by the German armies.
  • September 14, 1914: Departure from Maredsous, incognito, to find a refuge for his young monks outside occupied Belgium.
  • Christmas, 1914: Organization of the young monks (refugees) at Edermine House, in Ireland.
  • February 8, 1916: Dom Marmion leaves Edermine in an effort to return to Belgium.
  • February-March, 1916: Seriously ill in London.
  • May 19, 1916: Return to Maredsous through Holland.
  • December, 1918-June 2, 1919: Long journey through France, Italy, England, Ireland on business concerning Maredsous.
  • January 6, 1919: First audience with Pope Benedict XV.
  • February 5, 1919: The abbeys of Maredsous and Mont-César are separated by the Holy See from the Beuronese Congregation. They will form, with Abbey of Saint André at Bruges, the Belgian Benedictine Congregation.
  • April, 1919: Very serious illness in Dublin, and convalescence in Ireland.
  • July-August, 1919: Journey to France, Italy, England for several retreats and other business.
  • July 27, 1919: Second audience with Benedict XV.
  • June 9, 1920: Visit of Queen Elizabeth of the Belgians to Maredsous.
  • October 15, 1983: The Golden Jubilee of the foundation of Maredsous Abbey is celebrated, Cardinal Mercier presiding.
  • January 23, 1923: Abbot Marmion writes his last three letters.
  • January 25, 1923: He celebrates his last Mass.
  • January 30, 1923: He dies a holy death.