Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Feast Day Of St. Benedict Of Nursia


St. Benedict was the founder of Western monasticism.

Forgive me, but this post on the saint is a little tongue-in-cheek. This account appears to include more legend than is usual in biographies of the saints. I chose this version of the life of Benedict because it was short, and because I liked his patronage list. I pictured St. Benedict looking much like Brother Causticus, who seems to have abandoned his blog and us, but apparently I am mistaken, because the Benedictine habit is black, as you see in the stained glass above.


Profile

Roman nobility. Twin brother of Saint Scholastica. Studied in Rome, but was dismayed by the lack of discipline and the lackadaisical attitude of his fellow students. Fled to the mountains near Subiaco, living as a hermit in a cave for three years; reported to have been fed by a raven. His virtues caused an abbey to request him to lead them. Founded the monastery at Monte Cassino, where he wrote the Rule of his order. His discipline was such that an attempt was made on his life; some monks tried by poison him, but he blessed the cup and rendered it harmless. He returned to his cave, but continued to attract followers, and eventually established twelve monasteries. Had the ability to read consciences, prophesy, and forestall attacks of the devil. Destroyed pagan statues and altars, drove demons from groves sacred to pagans.

....

Patronage

against nettle rash; against poison; against witchcraft; agricultural workers; cavers; civil engineers; coppersmiths; dying people; erysipelas; Europe; farm workers; farmers; fever; gall stones; Heerdt, Germany; inflammatory diseases; Italian architects; kidney disease; monks; nettle rash; Norcia, Italy; people in religious orders; poison; schoolchildren; servants who have broken their master's belongings; speliologists; spelunkers; temptations; witchcraft

....

Representation

bell; broken cup; broken cup and serpent representing poison; broken utensil; bush; crosier; man in a Benedictine cowl holding Benedict's rule or a rod of discipline; raven


From the Catholic Forum


We owe St. Benedict and the monks of his order and other orders of monks a great deal, as James Keifer says in the Lectionary:

The effect of the monastic movement, both of the Benedictine order and of similar orders that grew out of it, has been enormous. We owe the preservation of the Holy Scriptures and other ancient writings in large measure to the patience and diligence of monastic scribes.


PRAYER

Almighty and everlasting God, whose precepts are the wisdom of a loving Father: Give us grace, following the teaching and example of your servant Benedict, to walk with loving and willing hearts in the school of the Lord's service; let your ears be open to our prayers; and prosper with your blessing the work of our hands; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


READINGS

Psalm 1 or 34:1-8
Proverbs 2:1-9
Luke 14:27-33

Padre Mickey has a post on St. Benedict that is excellent and quite serious and full of wonderful stories about the saint.

4 comments:

  1. Mimi, he also blessed the bread that his enemies had poisoned, and a raven (probably the same one) flew off with it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ormonde, that's a nice bit of detail. I'll bet it was the very same raven.

    ReplyDelete
  3. July 20th, one week today, is the feast day of St. Margaret of Antioch. It is also - or rather used to be - the feast of St. Wilgefortis. If you haven't used Wilgefortis in the past, she's definitely something different. Roger

    ReplyDelete
  4. Roger, even her name is different - St.Wilgefortis. I'm going to look her up.

    ReplyDelete

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