Who are we

Maria Toevlucht Abbey is a monastery in the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (OCSO), better known as the Trappists. We live our lives in accordance with the Rule of Saint Benedict (480-547). The central tenet of that Rule is “Ora et labora” so “prayer and work”, which we alternate throughout the day.


Living in community in a fixed place is central for our monk father Benedict. Brotherhood, obedience (to the abbot and each other) and stabilitas (stability) are part of the important vows which monks have to take. By carrying and bearing each other we form on this concrete place a training ground of love. We give each other the space to grow and mature – and as people of different generations – learn from each other.


Trappists are known for their silence. We believe that the quieter we are within ourselves, the more clearly we will hear God’s calling. For this reason, we avoid unnecessary conversations and keep our interaction with the outside world to a bare minimum. In the seclusion of the monastery, we strive for silence and tranquility, which is necessary to hear Gods voice in the silence of our hearts. For this reason we don’t allow viewings and guided tours.


Five times a day we gather to pray in the abbey chapel. Our prayer services are open to all. Through hymns, psalms, readings and prayers we each time turn to God as we place our lives in His hands once again. These services involve recitation of the psalms (all 150 every two weeks), readings from the Bible and prayer.


We also observe moments of quietness at other times, outside our communal prayer services. In an extremely slow and attentive reading of Scripture (“lectio devina”), we open our hearts for God’s Word. We observe silence for prayer and meditation twice a day.


We are happy to share our life of prayer in silence and solitude with anyone who wishes to drink from the Source. Any persons wishing to retreat from the hectic world and revitalize themselves, for any reason whatsoever, are welcome to come and stay in our guest house. As Saint Benedict prescribed in his Rule: “Let all guests be welcomed like Christ.” And so it is that we try to grow together into a city of peace (Apoc. 21, 2) and an oasis of calm and comfort, for the salvation of all.


Needless to say, we have to work for our daily bread, and this is why we alternate prayer and work throughout the day. Moreover, we try not to let it disturb our attention to God’s message. Trappists are known for their emphasis on manual work. Like several other monasteries in our order, we derive the majority of our income from brewing our own Trappist beer.

& Work


That in all things God may be glorified.

- Rule of St. Benedict


Rucphenseweg 38
4882 KC   Klein Zundert


Abbey / Shop:
0031 (0)76 597 42 51

Guest House:
Reachable wed - fri
09:30 - 10:30 h / 18:30 - 19:30 h
0031 (0)76 597 86 10

Opening hours
Abbey Shop

Monday: Closed
Tuesday - Saturday: 14:15 - 16:45 h
Sunday after the Eucharist: 11:00 - 11:50 h

© Abdij Maria Toevlucht 2024

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