Patrons in 2016: European
Cardinal Rainer
Maria Woelki
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With our hands – but with your strength

On the origin and spirituality of the works of charity, labour, education, and culture in Europe’s Benedictine monasteries.

Astonished at God’s creative power the ministry of the Benedictine monasteries emerged. He is the originator of everything that exists: He has created all things for man's happiness, calling on him to collaborate. It was the pervasiveness of this sense of awe – rather than some bustling activity – that led to the creation of a wide variety of works which have born unanticipated fruit.

Fifty plates are exhibited to show how the fruits of hospitality and nursing, of formal education and science, of manuscripts and music, of agriculture and craft could come into being as works of God. Furthermore, the exhibition poses questions on Europe’s spiritual identity and unity: How can we win them back? How can a civilisation of love emerge anew today?

“With our hands – but with your strength” (“Con le nostre mani, ma con la tua forza”) was put together by monks at the Benedictine monastery St. Peter and Paul in Cascinazza near Milan. It was shown for the first time in Italy in 2006, and since 2007 has been exhibited in a translated version in several German cities.


Witnesses to a presence

People who have given Europe a face

In this exhibition, ten plates evoke the memory of Europe’s patrons, and first and foremost that of St. Benedict. His motto “quaerere Deum” entailed a cultural prolificacy of such scope as to earn him the designation “Architect of Christian Europe” (Ratzinger). The saints Cyril and Methodius as well as St. Bridget of Sweden emphasize the spatial extension of European evangelisation. St. Teresa Benedicta a Cruce (Edith Stein) points to the reconciliatory power of faith against the backdrop of this continent’s most horrible tragedy in the past century. Appointing all these saints as Europe’s patrons, Pope John Paul II stressed the fact that Europe is in need of a soul in order to guarantee its spiritual cohesion.


Euromajdan – the people behind the headlines

Exposition of photos regarding the events in the Ukraine

The political events in the Ukraine move fast, the results are uncertain. At the Rhine-Meeting, we’d like to show the human factor behind the headlines of recent weeks.

Via newspaper articles, facebook postings and contacts with Ukrainians and on-site journalists, we were able to follow very closely how a nation is fighting with great readiness to make sacrifices for their freedom. Impressed by the reports, we want to let the people of Majdan speak for themselves. They testify that beyond all the unsolved political questions, small victories were won at 20 degrees below zero on the square, in the soup kitchens, medical wards, and in the prayer tent. Victories that changed the heart of many of these people.

Can we, business-oriented but numb Europeans, perceive that the Ukrainians are about to revitalise us?


Programme 2014