The Cistercians –who likewise follow the Rule of St. Benedict, observe this day for All Saints of their Order.
The Introit of the feast reads:
“Let us all rejoice in the Lord, celebrating a festival in honour of all the saints who did battle under the Rule of Saint Benedict, at whose solemnity the Angels rejoice and all together praise the Son of God.”
Through intercession of all the Benedictine saints, let us pray for that our brothers and sisters throughout the world (the nuns, monks, and oblates) living under the Rule of Saint Benedict,
may persevere in daily seeking the face of God; thus giving the Holy Trinity praise day and night.
Hail dwellers in the solitude
And in the lowly cloister cell,
Who steadfast and unshaken stood
Against the raging hordes of hell.
All wealth of gold and precious stone
And glories all of rank and birth
You cast away and trampled on,
With all low pleasures of this earth.
The green fields and the orchards grew
The simple fare whereon ye fed.
The brook was drink enough for you,
And on the hard ground was your bed.
Around you dwelt the venomed snakes,
And fiercest monsters harboured near.
All foul forms that the demon takes
You saw, but would not yield to fear.
Far, far beyond all earthly things
Your burning thoughts would wing their flight,
And hear the holy whisperings
Of angels in the heavenly height.
Thou Father of the heavenly host,
Thou glorious Son of Mary maid,
Thou Paraclete, the Holy Ghost,
To Thee be praise and glory paid.
~text found in the Breviaries Monasticum until 1963, and in the Breviaries Cisterciense.
The Benedictine monk, abbot, bishop and Cardinal is honored on this date: Blessed Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster. As a Roman by birth, he was a professed Benedictine monk and later abbot of the Abbey of Saint Paul outside the Walls (Rome). He was a liturgical scholar and professor at Sant’Anselmo.
“The Church’s Liturgy may…be considered as a sacred poem, in the framing of which both heaven and earth have taken part, and by which our humanity, redeemed in the blood of the Lamb without spot, rises on the wings of the Spirit even unto the throne of God himself. This is more than a mere aspiration, for the Sacred Liturgy not only shows forth and expresses the ineffable and the divine, but also, by means of the sacraments and of its forms of prayer, develops and fulfils the supernatural in the souls of the faithful, to whom it communicates the grace of redemption. It may even be said that the very source of holiness of the Church is fully contained in her Liturgy; for, without the holy sacraments, the Passion of our Lord, in the existing dispensation instituted by almighty God, we would have no efficacy in us, since there would be no channels capable of conveying its treasure to our souls.”
ldefonso Schuster, The Sacramentary, vol. I (Burns, Oates & Washbourne, London, 1923) p. 3.
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux composed the famous prayer to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary known as The Memorare. This year is Bernard’s 900th anniversary!
MEMORARE, O piissima Virgo Maria, non esse auditum a saeculo, quemquam ad tua currentem praesidia, tua implorantem auxilia, tua petentem suffragia, esse derelictum. Ego tali animatus confidentia, ad te, Virgo Virginum, Mater, curro, ad te venio, coram te gemens peccator assisto. Noli, Mater Verbi, verba mea despicere; sed audi propitia et exaudi. Amen.
REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.