Tag Archives: Benedictine saints and blesseds

Blessed Columba Marmion

Today –at least in the Benedictine world– is the liturgical memorial of Blessed Columba Marmion (1858-1923). Dublin born and educated, Joseph Marmion first found his vocation as a secular priest before giving himself as a Benedictine monk at the Abbey of Maredsous in Belgium. In 1909, Dom Columba Marmion was elected of Abbot of Maredsous.

The cause for possible sainthood was opened on 7 February 1957. The Church authorities certified miracle at Marmion’s intercession of a Minnesota woman in 1966. When Blessed John Paul beatified Marmion in 2000, he determined this date, that of his abbatial blessing, rather than on the day of his death, as the day the Church would honor the holy abbot.

Blessed Columba is the author of Christ, the Life of the Soul (1917), Christ in His Mysteries (1919), Christ, the Ideal of the Monk (1922) –all which is a revealing Christology. Blessed Marmion has helped us focus on the Lord and to keep before our eyes our redemption through His merciful love.

Let’s pray for the Benedictine monks, nuns, sisters and oblates, but let’s particularly pray for Abbot John and the monks of Marmion Abbey (Aurora, IL) on their patronal feast.

Good works nourish the heart



“Every day you provide your bodies with good to keep them from failing. In the same way your good works should be the daily nourishment of your hearts. Your bodies are fed with food and your spirits with good works. You aren’t to deny your soul, which is going to live forever, what you grant to your body, which is going to die.”

Saint Gregory the Great


Saint Gregory the Great

St Gregory, popeWhen the Church prays the Mass and the Divine Office today we’ll ask God to hear in the “intercession of Pope Saint Gregory, [to] 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.”

We rely on Saint Gregory’s intercession in a big way today.

We are reminded by Pope Saint Gregory that “The only true riches are those that make us rich in virtue. Therefore, if you want to be rich, beloved, love true riches. If you aspire to the heights of real honor, strive to reach the kingdom of Heaven. If you value rank and renown, hasten to be enrolled in the heavenly court of the Angels.”

Gregory (540 – 604) was born in Rome and was a civil servant, the usual path for a man of an aristocratic family; he became Rome’s Prefect.

In time, Gregory became a monk and then he founded a monasteries in Rome and in Sicily. As a deacon he was sent as an envoy to Constantinople.

History tells us that Gregory was the first monk –likely to be living the Rule of Benedict– to be elected Pope. His papacy was reform-minded when it came to property, service, concern for the poor and marginalized, the Church’s liturgical life, including sacred music. You can say that Gregory had a working relationship with people in tension with the Church, especially the Barbarians threatening the peace of peoples.

Beside his prodigious intellectual and social work, Gregory ought to be remembered in a significant way for setting the course of evangelizing the English peoples when he sent Augustine and his monks to England in 596.

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

A poetic text for this great liturgical memorial …

The Father’s light of glory has drawn in to itself
The holy Doctor Bernard,
Come, praise with him the Lord!

On earth he spoke of Jesus,
His birth in human flesh,
And found therein a meekness
Which turns our hearts to God.

The mysteries of the Virgin concealed in
Scripture’s word, He opened as a fountain
Of God’s abounding love.

His speech flowed deep with wisdom
As though a mountain lake
Containing saving waters ran down in streams of light.

We ask today assistance to truly
know ourselves, and in our hearts to savor
The presence of the Word.

To Father, Son and Spirit
All praise and honor be,
In truth and love coequal
For all eternity.

Saint Arnold of Soissons, patron of hop pickers, beer brewers

I didn’t know until I saw the following post on the Daylesford Abbey FB page:

Today we remember Saint Arnold of Soissons (1040–1087), the patron saint of hop-pickers and beer brewers. Arnold, born in Belgium, founded the Abbey of St. Peter in Oudenburg. At the abbey, he began to brew beer, as essential in medieval life as water. He encouraged local peasants to drink beer, instead of the contaminated village water, due to its “gift of health.” During the process of brewing, the water was boiled and thus, unknown to all, freed of pathogens.

As one would have thought, a Benedictine monk perfected beer making. Saint Arnold did good work for the health of his people through brewing beer.

Saint Arnold, pray for hop pickers, beer brewers, and for all of us who enjoy a good beer.

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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