The Story of Trappist Preserves. . .
Since the 6th-century, monks and nuns following the Rule of St. Benedict have prayed and worked in common, living by the labor of their hands. In the 11th century, this Benedictine tradition gave birth to the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance -- commonly known as Trappists.
Trappist monks from France first came to theUnited States in 1803 and established a "mother house" in Kentucky in 1848. St. Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts was settled in 1950 by Belgian and French Trappist monks from Nova Scotia and Rhode Island. In the rustic hills of central New England, the monks at Spencer follow a contemplative way of life in a way that is faithful to tradition and open to modern times.
In 1954, shortly after their arrival in Spencer, a small stove-top batch of mint jelly was made by the monks with the great excess of mint from the herb garden. Since monastic austerity at that time precluded the jelly from being served to the monks at meals, it was sold at the Porter's Lodge.
The response was highly encouraging. Other varieties were quickly tried, and soon jelly-making proved to be a successful and compatible monastic industry which would contribute to the monks' self-support.
For centuries, monks have created delicious food items as treats for their guests. In this venerable tradition of hospitality, Trappist Preserves came into being. Now, by the convenience of mail order, the monks bring their hospitality to your doorstep!
(c) All images and descriptions of Trappist Preserves and St. Joseph's Abbey on this website are used by permission.