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Scheduled Date: Tuesday 5th August, 2014

{A walk through the pines of Mt. St. Benedict on Sunday 10th September 2017}

The Abbey of Mount St. Benedict situated 600 feet above sea level is a significant tourist attraction that provides spiritual guidance to Christians and Non-Christians. On the entrance to the monastery, there is a large sign written in Latin “PAX” meaning a “place where peace reigns.” In October 2012, The Abbey of Mount St Benedict celebrated its 100th anniversary.

The history of Mount Saint Benedict goes back to 1911 when Abbot Dom Mayeul de Caigny of Brazil wrote to the Archbishop of Port_Of_Spain John Pius to establish a Benedictine foundation in Trinidad. The Archbishop granted permission, and on the 17th January 1912, Dom Mayeul purchased a small estate located in the hills of Tunapuna from Mr. Andrew Victoriano Gomez. Tunapuna, which means “the way of the water,” had no roads and to get there the Abbot had to climb the steep hills on foot. However, he became impressed by the splendid views and serene ambiance. The asking price in those days was 4,000 pounds, and the first building erected was a Tapia Hut. On the 10th August 1913, the first Mass celebrated on the Mount. During the period, 1912-1918, additional buildings constructed a church, guesthouse, workshop, living quarters and kitchen. By 1918, the daily crowds increased to such an extent that the monks needed to find a more secluded place for recollection and study.

Situated at 1851 feet above sea level the monks looked at the nearby hilltops of Mt. Thabor as the ideal location to build the new monastery. It’s purpose to accommodate young monks studying theology and those seeking seclusion from the influx of daily visitors. By 1922, the mansion at Mt. Thabor contained fifteen rooms, a chapel, a large hall and two towers 40 feet high. Reserved on each side of the tower were the Papal Flag and the Union Jack, visible from miles around. Known a place of solitude and for the public to visit, they required written permission. However, the property became abandoned because of the difficulty in climbing the mountain and bringing supplies. Today all left of this majestic pious structure is some concrete ruins. The wooden Tapia Castle now destroyed by the rugged elements of nature. Mount St. Benedict became an Abbey in February 1947 and on 3rd June 1947 Dom Adelbert van Duin a monk stationed there became the first Abbot. His motto “to be at the service to all” and he received his abbatial blessing from Archbishop Finbar Ryan on 16 June 1947.

During the dry season, the hilltops, which surround Mt. St Benedict, are sometimes venerable to bush fires and to preserve the landscape the forestry division replanted pine trees. The uphill walk to the Pines where Mt Thabor situated will take 40 minutes. At the summit, the grandeur of the towering pine trees and the peaceful atmosphere feels like no other. The soothing mountain breeze blowing across the valley creates a relaxing sensation. Visible in the distance are breathtaking views of Maracas St. Joseph countryside, the East –West Corridor and the Central Plains.   On the compound, there is a cafeteria and a gift shop to assist in the upkeep of the church. Mt St Benedict also distributes yogurt and once known for having the best honey.

On Sunday 10th September’17, Island hikers family hike to Mt. Thabor and Mount. St Benedict.

Assembly: 7.00am at Measy Stores Car Park St. Augustine. Depart at 8.00am

Hiking time to the top 40 minutes.

Downhill return: 20 minutes.

Rating: 3 Fair {going uphill with a downhill return}

Parking at the empty lot located on the opposite side of the football field heading up to the monk.

For details contact Mario749-2956, Jamal 761-1889, Marcia 490-2421 or


Monastery at mt thabor-6 painting of original hut at mt st benedict -4 pine forest at mt thabor-05



Mario Russell
c/o Island Hikers,
#152 Frederick Street,
Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago/

Phone: (868) 749-2956,

email :islandhikers

Marcia 490-2421,Michael 719-3368,

Jamal 761-1889,Robin 681-1389,

Camille 620-314, Michelle 726-5195,

,Petronilla 342-1072, Pooran 764-2041

Dennis 678-2768, Adrian 349-9316,

Bob 685-5355, Pedro 346-3460

Ian 682-6177,  Danny 372-7798