After 200 years, we know the Catalogue of the Benonite Library

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Recently published, the nineteenth volume in the “Monumenta Hofbaueriana” series is fundamental to the development of historical research on Saint Clement Maria Hofbauer. It contains the original edition of the precious five-volume Catalogue of the library of the Benonites (Redemptorists), found after more than 200 years, in Lviv, in the collections of the Central State Historical Archive of Ukraine. It is a relevant source to know the history and activity of the Benonites in Warsaw. 

The documents published in it are of great scientific value not only for direct knowledge of St Clement but also for the history of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer in Warsaw, from 1787 to 1808, and from there all over Europe – write editors of the volume, Dr Paulina Dąbrosz-Drewnowska Dr Adam Owczarski CSsR in the “Introduction” (full text available in Italian). 

The current edition of the priceless Catalogue of the Library of the Benonites opens up broad research perspectives and presents new scientific challenges, which will show more precisely how important the role of the Redemptorist Congregation was over 200 years ago and what influence it had on the religion and moral revival of Polish society at the time of the partition of the country between the three enemy powers: Russia, Prussia and Austria. It also provides a much better insight into the heritage of the Congregation, an evaluation of the work of St. Clement Hofbauer and his confreres, and a better understanding of their influence on Polish history. 

Although the book collection of the Benonites was lost, the Catalogue of almost 6,000 titles, rediscovered after two centuries, is the discovery of a ‘treasure’ of great importance not only for the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer but for the entire city of Warsaw and its history. 

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