Tag Archives: oblate

Saint Frances of Rome

S Francesca Romana Clothed by the Virgin.jpg

O God, Who in Saint Frances of Rome, has given us a model of holiness in married life and of monastic conversion, make us serve You perseveringly, so that in all circumstances we may set our gaze upon You and follow You.

This painting given here for today’s lectio is attributed to Antonio del Massaro da Viterbo, depicts Saint Frances of Rome (1384-1440) being clothed by the Mary in the white veil of her Benedictine movement that, even today, characterizes the Olivetan Benedictine Oblates of Mary she founded in 1425.

Mary, Mother of God wears a mantle of gold, which Saint Paul at the left wraps around Frances Romana. The presence of certain saints is instructive: the great evangelizer, Saint Paul, Saint Mary Magdalene (the Apostle to the Apostles and dressed in red) and Saint Benedict,  the Father of Western Monastic Life, with the various ranks of angels, including Francesca’s Guardian Angel.  Magdalene and Benedict wrap/invest the mantle on the gathered Oblates.

The angel below the Gothic windows is busy carding golden threads with a warp and loom. Nearby are two frisky dogs and two cats, a frequent sight in Rome. The Oblate Congregation, commonly thought to be woven together by heavenly graces and harassed by evil spirits. The evil one is given flesh in the form of cats and dogs. As a testimony of grace the Oblates flourish today at Tor de’Specchi. Several years ago I had the privilege with many others to pray in this monastery opened to the public only Saint Frances’ feast day.

I have longed hoped that the Oblates of Saint Frances of Rome would found a house in the USA. We are ready for this witness.

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Visit St Meinrad’s – for 2 minutes — virtually

St Meinrad Abbey  Church.jpegYou can get a quick visit to Saint Meinrad’s Archabbey in 2 minutes via YouTube. David Yonke put together a very nice video with good images and music. Brother Francis de Sales Wagner posted the video on his delightful blog, The Path of Life.

 I think a lovely experience in video format.
The Archabbey of Saint Meinrad has a great Oblate program, Seminary and Monastery.

The New Evangelization and St Benedict

Some Year of Faith initiatives

The monks, nuns and oblates of Saint Mary’s Monastery and Saint Scholastica Priory in Petersham, MA, had a day of reflection on October 20th that covered the New Evangelization and the Benedictine charism. Dr. Philip Zaleski, an Oblate of the monastery and Father Christophe Vuillaume, OSB, a monk at Saint Mary’s gave the two presentations.

Audio files

The Year of Faith and the New Evangelization

Saint Benedict and  the Life of Faith

Dr Zaleski is a professor at Smith College and a published author, and Dom Vuilaume is a priest and monk who as served at the request of the Subiaco Congregation in various locations,as of now he’s serving at Saint Mary’s.

The Monastery is celebrating 25 years of foundation this year. The monks belong to the Subiaco Congregation which is one of the largest groupings of monks and nuns in the world. Most often monasteries in the Subiaco Congregation do not engage in outside works and rely on the generosity of others. At Saint Mary’s. the Divine Office is prayed according to the traditional form of the Antiphonale Monasticum; Holy Mass is celebrated according to the Novus Ordo with the ordinary of the Mass prayed in Latin.

The nuns of Saint Scholastica Priory follow a traditional monastic life. They share the monastic church with the monks for some of the prayer times and Mass but have their own work. They were blessed recently to have two novices profess simple vows.

Saint Henry: emperor, husband and Benedictine Oblate

St Henry II.jpg

God of might and power, you bestowed many gifts upon Saint Henry and turned him from the cares of an earthly kingdom to a concern for heavenly things. Hear his prayer and grant that amid the changes and uncertainties of this life we may hasten to you with undivided hearts.

Today’s saint, Henry II, is one of the few monarchs admitted to the canon of saints. Emperors along with civil and canon lawyers don’t seem to be too plentiful among the communion of saints. Henry was in fact an emperor, a husband and a Benedictine oblate. Throughout his life Henry devoted himself to the evangelization of peoples, the support of the Church (materially and spiritually), and is known to have attended to his spiritual life by being faithful to lectio divina, praying the Divine Office and the sacred Liturgy, and doing works of mercy and charity for the poor and marginalized. He is reported to have lived very chastely with his wife. Also important for us here is the fact that as king, Henry followed the Rule of Saint Benedict with a degree of seriousness that was rather unheard of, even among the monks and nuns. As Saint Benedict lived his earthly life and enjoined on his followers a sense of attentiveness to the reality of the final judgment, Henry conformed his life to the same: as Benedict had a concern for the welfare of brothers, he also instilled in them a heightened sense of Christ’s final judgment, and so did Henry. Do we?

Adé Béthune: 7th anniversary

Adé Béthune.jpg

Today is the 7th
anniversary of death of Adé Béthune, a renowned artist and liturgical scholar
of Newport, Rhode Island. Much of her influence was known through the Saint Leo League –an organization to assist the laity and the clergy to live the sacred Liturgy more fully. Out of the Saint Leo League came the publication, Sacred Signs, which published a quarterly review of articles on the liturgical arts (iconography, book reviews, articles, parish helps, museum notes; Sacred Signs is timely now as it was when still in print. She had a passion for liturgical art and sacred
music, especially Gregorian Chant.

Adé was an Oblate of Saint Benedict of the
Abbey of Saint Gregory the Great – Portsmouth, where she is buried in the abbey
cemetery. When I was at the abbey recently I made a special point in visiting her grave to offer a prayer for her.

The collection of her artist work and intellectual work is held at The College of Saint Catherine (St. Paul, MN).

You can read the Catholic Worker obit for Adé and the Time Magazine piece on Adé’s work in 1962.

May she rest in

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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