Tag Archives: Benedictine saints and blesseds

Saint Hildegard of Bingen

Hildergard von Bingen Dormition Abbey.jpgO Lord, you were generous with your gifts of grace to the virgin Hildegard. By following closely her example and teaching, may we pass from the darkness of this life into your marvelous light.

Saint Hildegard (1098-1179) was a Benedictine of great learning ( a true polymath), a holy woman who was known for her visions, prophesies, poetry and spiritual guidance. Some have likened her to Dante and William Blake. She was given the title of the Sibyl of the Rhine. Since the 15th century Hildegard’s name was in the Roman Martyrology but was not officially canonized. On May 10, 2012 Pope Benedict XVI gave the entire Church the liturgical memory of Saint Hildegard (the equivalent of canonizing her); the Pope stated that on October 7, 2012 he will name the Saint a Doctor of the Church.

We pray for the Benedictine Congress in Rome that begins today and goes until the 25th through the intercession of Saint Hildegard.

Saint Gregory the Great

St Gregory the Great statue, Portsmouth.jpegBlessed Gregory, raised upon the throne of Peter, sought always the beauty of the Lord and lived in celebration of that love.


O God, who care for the your people with gentleness and rule them in love, though the intercession of Pope Saint Gregory, endow, we pray, with a spirit of wisdom those to whom you have given authority to govern, that the flourishing of a holy flock may become the eternal joy of the shepherds.

Let us pray for the Pope, Benedict XVI and his ministry as pastor. Likewise, I would like to remember in prayer the monks of Portsmouth Abbey who live under the patronage of Saint Gregory the Great.
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Blessed Ildefonso Schuster

Bl Idelfonso Schuster, card.jpg

Almighty God, who through your grace, the Blessed Alfredo Ildefonso, by his exemplary virtue built up the flock entrusted to him, grant that we, under the guidance of the Gospel may follow his teaching and walk in sureness of life, until we come to see you face to face in your eternal Kingdom.

Today we honor the Church honors a great 20th century Benedictine monk, priest, bishop and cardinal, Blessed Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster. He died on this date in 1954. At the time of his death he was the cardinal-archbishop of Milan.

Blessed Ildefonso is one of my great Benedictine heros. He’s known for promoting catechetics and the role of the laity in life of the Church in a time prior to it becoming a “normal” thing. Moreover, he diligently looked after the poor, denounced the totalitarian thinking of Facism, Nazism and racism, proposed models of holiness for all people –not just the clerical elite– and he lived the sacred Liturgy and founded the Institute of Ambrosian Chant and Sacred Music.
When the process of beatification came to a certain point, church officials opened Cardinal Schuster’s tomb and found his body to be incorruptible. A more certain sign of holiness. He was announced as a Venerable Servant of God on March 26, 1994 and beatified by Blessed John Paul II on May 12, 1996.
For more info, see his birthday post and another post on his feast day.
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Saint Bernard Tolomei

Bernardo Tolomei (1272-1348).jpgAn obscure Benedictine saint is liturgically honored by the Church today. Saint Bernard Tolomei, (1272-1348) the founder of the Benedictine Congregation of the Blessed Virgin of Monte Oliveto  (near Siena) in 1319. He was beatified in 1644 but not canonized until 2009, though he was revered as a saint for a long time before Pope Benedict canonized him.

The Olivetan monks have an intense devotion to the Virgin Mary due to the founder’s attribution to the healing of his blindness by the intercession of the Virgin; their life has been one of penance and silence. Hence, Saint Bernard is called the “hero of penance and martyr of charity.” And this is our desire today.
Saint Bernard Tolomei’s brief biography can be read here and a set of photos can be viewed here.

Saint Bernard, 900 years since entering Cîteaux


Nearly 900 years ago Bernard of Fontaine-lès-Dijon led
a group of young Burgundian noblemen, to the Abbey of Cîteaux in 1112 or 1113. The fledgling
new monastery got a burst of new life and from there set the world ablaze with
what became the Cistercian charism. 


Let us pray for the Cistercians in the
North America, paying particular attention to the intention of young men and women entering the
monastic life under the gaze of Saint Bernard. Beginning today until a year from now, the Cistercians are observing a Year of Saint Bernard. Let’s join them in knowing more about this pivotal saint and monk.

Vision of St Bernard Fra Bartolomeo detail.jpg

Most loving Father, in establishing
the New Monastery at Cîteaux our fathers followed the poor Christ into the
desert. Thus they lived the Gospel, by rediscovering the Rule of Saint Benedict
in its purity.

You gave Bernard of Fontaine the ability to make this new life
attractive and appealing to others, in the joy of the Holy Spirit.

Grant that
we today, after their example, may live our charism deeply in a spirit of
peace, unity, humility, and above all, in the charity which surpasses all other
gifts.

May men and women of our time be called to follow the Gospel in monastic
life, in the service of the Church’s mission, in a world often forgetful of
You.

May the monks and nuns of our Order  continue to live in the
enthusiastic and generative spirit of the founders. And in all of our needs may
we always turn to Our Lady whom Bernard called the Star of the Sea.

Holy
Father, from whom we have already received so much, grant us again your
blessing that our communities may grow in numbers, but above all in grace and
in wisdom, to your glory, who are blessed for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayer adapted from the original by Dom Olivier, abbot of Citeaux.

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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