The Feast of St Benedict (Modern Roman Calendar)
Benedict of Nursia was a Roman Noble who was born in Ursia, which is in Umbria Italy. Having become disillusioned with the City, he took his nurse with him to settle down in a mountainous region called Enfide. One day while walking to Enfide he met a monk named Romanus of Subiaco. Whatever the monk told him must have been life-changing because Benedict ended up taking the habit and becoming a monk for 3 years.
During his three-year solitude he grew in grace – so much so that he was asked to become an abbot of a nearby monastery. Yet all was not well there,
… the monks tried to poison him. The legend goes that they first tried to poison his drink. He prayed a blessing over the cup and the cup shattered. Then they tried to poison him with poisoned bread. When he prayed a blessing over the bread, a raven swept in and took the loaf away. Benedict returned to his cave at Subiaco. From this time his miracles seem to have become frequent, and many people, attracted by his sanctity and character, came to Subiaco to be under his guidance. He founded 12 monasteries in the vicinity of Subiaco, and, eventually, founded the great Benedictine monastery of Monte Cassino, which lies on a hilltop between Rome and Naples.. Wikipedia.
St Benedict died while praying to God on March 21, 547.
The Rule of St Benedict
Seventy-three short chapters comprise the Rule. Its wisdom is of two kinds: spiritual (how to live a Christocentric life on earth) and administrative (how to run a monastery efficiently). More than half the chapters describe how to be obedient and humble, and what to do when a member of the community is not. About one-fourth regulate the work of God (the Opus Dei). One-tenth outline how, and by whom, the monastery should be managed. And two chapters specifically describe the abbot’s pastoral duties
Quotes from the Rule of St Benedict
“Whatever good work you begin to do, beg of God with most earnest prayer to perfect it.”
“If people curse you, do not curse them back, but bless them instead. St. Benedict.”
“Do not love quarreling, shun ignorance. St. Benedict”
Prefer moderation in speech and speak no foolish chatter. St. Benedict
St Benedict’s Medal
He is also known for the St Benedict Medal. For the history of the St Benedict’s Medal, read the article on the Order of St Benedict (OSB) site.
The medal is to blessed in a special way.
Approved Blessing for Benedict Jubilee Medal
V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R. Who made heaven and earth.
In the name of God the Father + almighty, who made heaven and earth, the seas and all that is in them, I exorcise these medals against the power and attacks of the evil one. May all who use these medals devoutly be blessed with health of soul and body. In the name of the Father + almighty, of the Son + Jesus Christ our Lord, and of the Holy + Spirit the Paraclete, and in the love of the same Lord Jesus Christ who will come on the last day to judge the living and the dead, and the world by fire.
Let us pray. Almighty God, the boundless source of all good things, we humbly ask that, through the intercession of Saint Benedict, you pour out your blessings + upon these medals. May those who use them devoutly and earnestly strive to perform good works be blessed by you with health of soul and body, the grace of a holy life, and remission of the temporal punishment due to sin.
May they also with the help of your merciful love, resist the temptation of the evil one and strive to exercise true charity and justice toward all, so that one day they may appear sinless and holy in your sight. This we ask though Christ our Lord.
The medals are then sprinkled with holy water.
So as we go on about our day, let us think about how we can apply the Rule to our day.
Since this week, I am working on practicing the virtue of prudence, the rule about speaking no foolish chatter is quite apropos!
Happy Feast Day!