Saturday, July 11, 2009

Memorial of Saint Benedict

Today, July 11th, is the Memorial of Saint Benedict, the Father of Western Monasticism.

From The Lives of the Saints:

"The patriarch of Western monasticism was born at Nursia, in central Italy, about 480. In his youth, seeing the corruption of the world, he left home to live a hermit's life of penance and prayer in a cave in the mountain of Subiaco, near Rome, where he was instructed in Christian asceticism by Saint Romanus, a Solitary of the vicinity.

His reputation for sanctity gathered a large number of disciples around him, for whom he erected monasteries in which they lived a community life under a prescribed rule. In the year 529, he left Subiaco for Monte Cassino, and there founded the great Abbey which became the center of religious life in Europe.

The principles of the Rule written by St. Benedict became the basis of religious life for all Western religious orders and congregations after his time. It shows the way to religious perfection by the practice of self-conquest, mortification, humility, obedience, prayer, silence, retirement, and detachment from the world and its cares.

St. Scholastica, the sister of St. Benedict, was the first Benedictine nun. She presided over a monastery of nuns near Monte Cassino. St. Benedict died on March 21, 543, as he stood before the altar of Monte Cassino immediately after receiving Holy Communion.

Prayer: God, You established St. Benedict the Abbot as an admirable teacher in the school of Divine servitude. Teach us never to prefer anything to Your love and always to run the way of Your Commandments with most generous dispositions. Amen.


  1. Amazing videos, Bad Catholic. I'm calling the Vatican and nominating you for monkhood AND I'M ONLY HALF KIDDING (But I should admit that I just had a strong Saturday afternoon drink ... and it wasn't Miller Lite).

  2. Joe G: When are you coming to the monastery with me on retreat?