Tag Archives: Benedictine saints and blesseds

Saint Mechtild of Helfta (also known to be of Hackeborn)

Lord our God,

St Mechtild.jpgthrough Your loving favor,

You revealed to blessed Mechtild, your virgin, the hidden secrets of your providence. May we who know You now through faith rejoice hereafter to see You face to face.


Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


A brief biography can be read here. One key point in the life of Saint Mechtild is that she was the dear friend of Saint Gertrude the Great and who had a spiritual daughter in the other Mechtild, that of Magdeburg, who lived at the same time.

Saint Gertrude the Great

St Gertrude3.jpgO God, Who in the most pure heart of blessed Gertrude Thy Virgin did prepare for Thyself a well-pleasing dwelling, mercifully efface all stains from our hearts, so that they may merit worthily to be made the dwelling place of Thy divine majesty.


Saint Gertrude was not drawn to the Heart of Jesus as much as through the Heart of Jesus, to the Father, in the Holy Spirit. Her prayer is essentially Trinitarian. Her whole being is oriented ad Patrem, and this because she is united to the Son, because she has entered through the pierced Heart of the Son as through an open door, oriented and carried as it were, by the breath of the Holy Spirit.


Saint Gertrude reminds us that the entire liturgy is Trinitarian: every detail, the smallest word or gesture in the sacred liturgy is a contact with Christ. In the liturgy, nothing is insignificant. Everything is invested with sacramentality, that is, with the potential to unite us to Christ, so that through Him and with Him we might pass into the fiery embrace of the Holy Spirit and the bosom of the Father. Saint Gertrude reminds us that the liturgy — the Eucharist and other the sacraments, but also the Liturgy of the Hours — is more than a complex of words and chants, rites and gestures. (courtesy of MDMK)


Sacred Heart2.jpgSaint Gertrude’s Prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Hail! O Sacred Heart of Jesus, living and quickening source of eternal life, infinite treasure of the Divinity, and burning furnace of divine love. You are my refuge and my sanctuary, O my amiable Savior.

Consume my heart with that burning fire with which Yours is ever inflamed. Pour down on my soul those graces which flow from Your love, and let my heart be so united with Yours, that our wills may be one, and mine in all things, be conformed to Yours. May Your divine will be equally the standard and rule of all my desires and of all my actions. Amen.


Saint Gertrude on friendship


One day between Easter and Ascension I went into the garden before [Office of] Prime, and sitting down beside the pond, I began to consider what a pleasant place it was. I was charmed by the clear water and flowing streams, the fresh green of the surrounding trees, the birds flying so freely about, especially the doves. But most of all, I loved the quiet, hidden peace of this secluded retreat.


I asked myself what more was needed to complete my happiness in a place that seemed to me so perfect, and I reflected that it was the presence of a friend, intimate, affectionate, wise, and companionable, to share my solitude.

Benedictine All Saints

Christ and saints.jpg

Today, November 13, we celebrate the feast of All Saints who persevered under the Rule of Saint Benedict are now with God as intercessors for us at the Throne of Grace. The observance of different day for “Benedictine All Saints” is a holdover when the calendar was reformed by Pope Gregory. Nevertheless, the monks, nuns, and oblates who follow the holy Rule venerate the named and un-named saints of their monasteries.

Let us all rejoice in the Lord, celebrating a festival in honor 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.

With the Church, let us pray,

Almighty and ever-faithful God, who ceaselessly bestow the gift of monastic life upon your Church, grant us, we beseech you,   perseverance in that same vocation that we may advance full of gratitude for those who have gone before us on this path, holding nothing more dear than Christ.

Blessed Columba Marmion


O God, almighty Father, who called the blessed abbot Columba to the monastic way of life and opened to him the secrets of the mysteries of Christ, mercifully grant that, strengthened by his intercession, in the spirit of your adoption as sons, we may become a dwelling place worthy of your Wisdom. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the same Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.


Deeply steeped in the Scriptures and the tradition of the Church, through the Liturgy, the Benedictine charism and St. Thomas Aquinas, Dom Marmion emphasizes the role of Jesus Christ:


…Holiness then, is a mystery of Divine life communicated and received: communicated in God from the Father to the Son by an ineffable generation; [Isaiah 52:8] communicated by the Son to humanity, which He personally unites to Himself in the Incarnation; then restored to souls by this humanity, and received by each of them in  the measure of their special predestination: according to the measure of the giving of Christ  [Ephesians 4:7] so that Christ is truly the life of the soul because He is the source and giver of life…


In his teaching, Dom Marmion emphasizes ‘Redemption from’, oriented toward ‘Redemption for’:


… According to our manner of speaking, holiness seems to us that it is composed of a double element: first, infinite distance from all that is imperfection, from all that is created from all that is not God Himself. This is only a ‘negative’ aspect. There is another element which consists in this: that God adheres by an innumerable and always present act of His will, to the Infinite Good, which is Himself, in order to conform Himself entirely to all that this Infinite Good is. God knows Himself perfectly. His All-Wisdom shows Him His own essence as supreme norm of all activity.


(Fr. Joseph Henchey, CSS, “A Reflection on the Hope of Dom Columba Marmion”)

The author of this blog has more on Blessed Columba, plus you may want to survey this site.

Saint Hildegard of Bingen: adorned with grace


About our sister Saint Hildegard

Saint Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) whom the Church raises up for us is a remarkable woman: deeply committed to seeking God, a friend of the Lord, and a pastor of souls. In her era she lived to almost 80 years, a rare age then and as it echoes the psalmsist. One point of context: Hildegard was born in the year that the Cistercian reform of monasticism was born. She is remembered for being an abbess, a reformer, a theologian, a singer-songwriter, a mystic, a biologist, an environmentalist, and a dialogue partner with world leaders. Are we clear that Saint Hildegard was intelligent and competent?

Today, the Benedictine nuns of an abbey under Saint Hildegard’s patronage continues to thrive in Germany. On another note, Pope Benedict said, in the Wednesday Angelus address (9/17): “I met with men and women from the world of culture, with whom I reflected on the monastic ideal of seeking God–quaerere Deum–as the bedrock of European culture. I wished to emphasize that meditation on the Scriptures opens our minds and hearts to the Logos, God’s Creative Reason in the flesh.”

For those interested in the Mass prayers for today’s memorial:

St Hildegard.jpg


The Spouse of Christ Hildegard, illuminated the Holy Church by the light of her wholesome doctrine. Grace is poured out upon thy lips. Therefore God has blessed thee forever.

Opening Collect

O God,

Who did adorn blessed Hildegard, Thy virgin,

with heavenly gifts; we beseech Thee, grant that following her example and teaching, we may deserve to pass from darkness of this present world into the gladdening light of Thy presence.


Prayer Over the Gifts

Lord, may the gifts we bring You help us follow the example of Saint Hildegard. Cleanse us from our earthly way of life, and teach us to live the new life of your kingdom.

Communion Antiphon

The five sensible virgins took flasks of oil as well as their lamps. At midnight a cry was heard: the bridegroom is here; let us go out to meet Christ the Lord. (Matthew 25:4,6)

Post-Communion Collect

Lord, may our reception of the body and blood of Your Son keep us from harmful things. Help us by the example of Saint Hildegard to grow in Your love on earth that we may rejoice for ever in heaven.

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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