Louisville, Kentucky: Trappist, Kentucky, U.S.A., 1949. First edition. Folio (12 inches tall), original gilt blue paper wrappers with mounted illustration, russet endpapers. Early owner signature to flyleaf and half-title, gentle toning to edges, slight wear to mounted illustration, not affecting image. A near-fine copy. Item #817
"THIS BOOK IS A SONG OF PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING" First edition of this history of Gethsemani Abbey—lavishly-illustrated and scarce in the original wrappers. This was a commemorative volume, published by the Trappists in celebration of one hundred years of the abbey, originally founded when 44 French monks journeyed to Kentucky in December 1848. Illustrated with photographs and illuminations by W. Terrell Dickey, and with text by the Monks of Gethsemani: "This book is a song of praise and thanksgiving. It is offered to God, rather than men, and offered to Him in unison with the Magnificat of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary." The book begins with a page-long dedication to Our Lady of Gethsemani and prints a series of congratulatory letters, chief among them a letter from Pope Pius XII, an Apostolic Benediction addressed to Abbot M. James Fox. Published in April 1949: Gethsemani Magnificat appears in Dell'Isola's Thomas Merton bibliography as A10, indexed between Seeds of Contemplation (March 1949) and Waters of Siloe (September 1949) but Merton's name doesn't appear in these pages. This volume was printed for the Trappists by the Fetter Printing Company (in nearby Louisville, Kentucky), and perfect-bound in paper wrappers, complete with the original mounted illustration on the front wrapper of Monks in adoration before Our Lady. The illustration also appeared in the Waters of Siloe late. Approbations. Dell'Isola, Thomas Merton: A Bibliography, A10.