- Saturday, 09 March 2013 08:56
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.
- Sunday, 03 March 2013 17:40
You 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.
- Friday, 14 December 2012 07:37
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.
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.
- Monday, 13 July 2009 07:55
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?