Category Archives: Benedictine saints & blesseds

St Benedict, the transitus

 

 

By your ascetic labors, God-bearing Benedict, / you were proven to be true to your name. / For you were the son of benediction, / and became a rule and model for all who emulate your life and cry: / “Glory to Him who gave you strength! / Glory to Him who granted you a crown! / Glory to Him who through you grants healing to all!” (Byzantine Troparion)

St Scholastica

Scholastica and Benedict“she was more powerful, because they had the greater love ”

O God, to show us where innocence leads, You made the soul of your virgin St. Scholastica soar to heaven. Like a dove in flight. Grant through her merits and her prayers. That we may so live in innocence as to attain to joys everlasting. This we ask through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, Who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, forever and ever. Amen. (Troparion)

St Meinrad

St Meinrad

 

 

 

“Beloved Martyr Meinrad, hear the voices of your loving sons, who praise your glory on this day, which saw your victory in Christ.”

St Sylvester Guzzolini

st-silvester-receiving-communion-claudio-ridolfi

O God who bestowed upon Saint Sylvester zeal for the sweetness of solitude and for the labors of the cenobitical life, grant us, we beseech You, to seek You always with a sincere mind and in humble charity hasten toward the eternal tabernacles.  (antiphon)

On the Benedictine liturgical calendar the 13th century founder and abbot St Sylvester Guzzolini (1177-1267), is recalled.

A few marks of this saintly abbot’s spirituality would be his emphasis on the mysteries of the Passion of Our Lord, a filial devotion to the Blessed Virgin, and the intense love of the Most Holy Eucharist. You can see the two of these marks expressed in parting by Claudio Ridolfi in 1632.

Historically, some will remember that St Silvester founder of the so-called Blue Benedictines (from the color of their habit) or what became known as Silvestrines. The Benedictine way of life proposed by St Sylvester was confirmed by Pope Innocent IV in 1247. As a founder of a new expression of Benedictine monasticism Sylvester wanted his community to focus on contemplation thus being places of away from the cities, and he wanted relatively small communities of men who lived very modestly (even quiet poor) in contradistinction to the large monasteries of his time that had power and wealth and little regard for the Holy Rule. Today, this congregation of Benedictines is relatively small and not too well-known.

St Sylvester teaches us through his example and living the three marks I noted above: attend to the Cross, be in relation to the Mother of God, and prepare your heart to receive the Lord in the Eucharist.

Blessed Columba Marmion

columba-marmionThe month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary. It is a profound prayer and a way to drawn closer to Christ by being a child of Mary, the Mother of God. Today, we commemorate the feast of the Benedictine abbot, Blessed Columba Marmion. When he was elected abbot of his abbey, he chose Rosary Sunday for the Abbatial Blessing in 1909. He had, as we ought to have, a sincere devotion to Our Lady of the Rosary. He writes:

Here is an example to help you understand the efficacy of the Rosary. You remember the story of David who vanquished Goliath. What steps did the young Israelite take to overthrow the giant? He struck him in the middle of the forehead with a pebble from his sling. If we regard the Philistine as representing evil and all its powers: heresy, impurity, pride, we can consider the little stones from the sling capable of overthrowing the enemy as symbolizing the Aves of the Rosary.

The ways of God are entirely different from our ways. To us it seems necessary to employ powerful means in order to produce great effects. This is not God’s method; quite the contrary. He likes to choose the weakest instruments that He may confound the strong: “God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong — Infirma mundi elegit ut confundat fortia” (1 Cor 1:27).

Have you not often met poor old women who are most faithful to the pious recitation of the Rosary? You also must do all that you can to recite it with fervour. Get right down, at the feet of Jesus: it is a good thing to make oneself small in the presence of so great a God.

Columba Marmion
Christ, the Ideal of the Priest

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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