Are the liberal/radical Trappists still there at the Abbey (to the left of the picture)?Form what I read awhile ago, there are only about 9 aged monks left, and the monastic traditions have largely been discarded. Weird liturgy, no vocations etc. Same old story.The Trappists won't be there for long.In the days of the great Pope Pius XII, there were about 50 monks here, and the monks tended sheep and presented 2 to the Pope every year on the feast of St. Agnes.But I think the monks are so few, and so old that they don't do any of that anymore.
The lambs are from the Sisters in Trastevere?Thomas Merton wrote of Tre Fontane and the Trappist monks there in the Seven Storey Mountain.
I think the lambs came from this Trappist/Cistercian Abbey of Tre Fontane, and the two lambs were presented to the Pope on St. Agnes' Feastday.Then the lams were shorn of their wool by the Benedictine Nuns of St. Cecilia...in Trastevere, and the wool was woven by them into the pallium and given to the Pope to present to new Bishops.The cloistered Benedictine nuns still weave the pallium, but I think either the Canons of St. Peter's, or another monastic group have the responsibility for the lambs now.
I do know that the Monks at Tre Fontaine were presenting as late as two years ago as I have a picture of Father Graham Touche,o.s.c.o. of Our Lady of Calvary Abbey in Rogersville, NB, Canada participating in the ceremony of presentation to the Holy Father. Father Graham was completing his studies in Rome at the time and was a resident at Tre Fontaine
VATICAN CITY, 21 JAN 2010 (VIS) - This morning, in keeping with thetradition for today's feast of St. Agnes, the Pope blessed a number of lambsin the Urban VIII Chapel of the Vatican Apostolic Palace. The wool of the lambs is used to make the palliums bestowed on newmetropolitan archbishops on June 29, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul,Apostles. The lambs are raised by the Trappist Fathers of the Abbey of the ThreeFountains in Rome and the palliums are made from the newly-shorn wool by thesisters of St. Cecilia.