2003 Mepkin Abbey

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Product Description

Native Americans were the first residents of the more than 3000 acres along the Cooper River now known as Mepkin. It is believed that the Native American word, mepkin, may mean serene and lovely, a fitting description of the beauty and tranquility that has been preserved by careful stewardship through the centuries.

In 1763, Henry Laurens, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and president   of the Continental   Congress, acquired   Mepkin   Plantation. In 1936, Mepkin Plantation was purchased by noted publisher-philanthropist Henry R. Luce and his wife, the Hon. Clare Boothe Luce, who commissioned the famed landscape architect, Loutrell Briggs, to create the Mepkin Gardens.

In 1949, Mr. and Mrs. Luce generously donated a large portion of their property to the Abbey of Gethsemani for the establishment of a Trappist monastery. Today, Trappist monks continue to care for the land and live simple lives of prayer, study and work. The first of seven daily communal prayer services begins at 3:20 am at the Abbey Church which is beautifully depicted on the ornament. Rare spiritual and monastic books provide ample opportunity for study in the Clare Boothe Luce Library. Work is celebrated through the production and sale of fresh and dried shiitake and oyster mushrooms, providing not only daily living expenses for the monks, but also an opportunity to contribute to the community.

Visitors are welcome seven days a week. For more information visit the monastery on line at www.mepkinabbey.org.