Liturgy Institute London

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Abbot Eligius Dekkers

Abbot Eligius Dekkers (1915-1998), fifth abbot of Sint-Pietersabdij, Steenbrugge (1915-1998)

Born Jan Dekkers into a Flemish-speaking family in Antwerp, he entered the abbey of St Peter in Steenbrugge, assuming the name Eligius when he took his monastic vows in October 1934 at the age of 19. He was to remain in the same community for the rest of his life. He was elected Abbot in April 1967, a post he held until 1981. He taught for many years in the fields of patristics, theology and liturgy at the University of Leuven.

Although he would become widely known in the academic world for his Corpus Christianorum, a series invaluable for contemporary liturgical research, Dekkers never went to university and was largely self-taught. During his novitiate he had studied philosophy and theology, but most of his academic education came through wide reading.

Dekkers received numerous accolades for his work, including several honorary doctorates. He was a corresponding Fellow of the British Academy and sat on editorial boards of various scholarly publications.

Dekkers was a gentle and modest man whose life of quiet scholarship was devoted to the academic project he himself launched nearly 50 years ago.

Jan Dekkers, monk: born Antwerp, Belgium 20 June 1915; died Bruges, Belgium 15 December 1998.


Monks of Belgian monasteries who have contributed to the Classical Liturgical


Dom Bernard Capelle, Abbot of Mont César, Keizersberg, Leuven 1928 – 1952

Dom Gaspar Lefebvre of Sint Andries, Zevenkerken, Brugge

Dom Bernard Botte of Abdij Keizersberg, Leuven (formerly Louvain) 1883 – 1980

Dom Lambert Beauduin OSB, (1873-1960) (photo top left) first a monk of

Secular priest contributions: Mgr Kamiel (Camille) Callewaert, Bruges – Brugge.



Dom Marmion of Maredsous


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© James Leachman, O.S.B.,  17 February 2012