Tag Archives: St Maurus

Saints Maurus and Placid

Benedict giving habit to Maur and PlacidThe Benedictines liturgically honor the first companions of Saint Benedict, Saint Maurus and Saint Placid. They are the patron saints of Benedictine novices and oblates .

What we know of Maurus and Placid comes from the Dialogues of Saint Gregory the Great. More on their life may be found here, including a discussion on miracles and the blessing of Saint Maurus for the sick.

One of the strongest associations with Benedict, Maurus and Placid is their devotion to the Cross of Jesus as life-giving and life-saving.

Saint Maurus is credited in the Benedictine world with bringing the Rule of Benedict to France.

Saint Placid is credited with bringing the Rule of Benedict to Sicily.

What we gain by following the life of these two early companions of Saint Benedict is the resolve to follow the authority of another who is close to God, and to be familiar with God, as the Prophet Samuel was.

Here is a previous post on Saints Maurus and Placid.

Saints Maurus and Placid

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In the Benedictine tradition today is the feast of the young disciples of Saint Benedict, Maurus and Placid. The tradition holds that after the holy Benedict had established his twelve monasteries at Subiaco, noble Christians came from Rome, presenting their sons to be raised and educated among the monks. Not unusual given the state of Roman culture at that time. Among them were Maurus, an adolescent, the son of Euthicus, and Placid son of the patrician Tertullus. These young people become the first “oblates” in monastic life; they become models for all Benedictine Oblates today.

While the names of Maurus and Placid are not well known in “normal” Catholic circles except in Benedictine monasteries, we do recognize a few things today because of them. The oblation of the family to the Man of Blessing is where we get the idea of an Oblate  in the Benedictine charism. You may have heard of the Blessing the Sick through the Intercession of Saint Maurus or even be familiar with the famous story of being saved from drowning.

The narrative of Placid being saved is given to us in the Dialogues of Saint Gregory the Great. There Gregory tells us Maurus and Placid went to fetch water in the lake. Placid falls into the water. Saint Benedict, aware of the situation due to God’s grace,  sends Maurus to rescue the child Placid. Maurus, having received his abbot’s blessing, runs over the surface of the water, grabs Placid by the hair, pulls him out, and then runs back over the water to dry land, carrying the little one in his arms. Saint Benedict attributes the miracle to Mauris’ obedience; Maurus attributes it to Saint Benedict. But it was Placid who settles the debate: “When you pulled me out of the water, he says, I saw over my head Father Abbot’s hood, and I saw that it was he who pulled me from the water.” Listening to the Collect it seems that obedience wins: both Benedict and today’s saints are correct.

For us the story of Saints Maurus and Placid is very much connected with the notion of to whom do we belong; whom do we follow. That is, with whom do we share friendship (on the supernatural level)? God or creation? What we see in these two is the development in Benedict’s line of spiritual paternity of persevering in the seeking of God. One can only wonder what better eye witnesses there could be than Maurus and Placid in the mercy of God and the trust in Divine assistance in times of suffering. Perhaps this is why they are asked for intercession for the sick and why became patrons of Benedictine novices.

Prayer through the intercession of Saints Benedict & Maurus

The Benedictines celebrate the feast of Saint Maurus, a first disciple of Saint Benedict on January 15 and the Roman Martyrology notes his feast day as today. Liturgical calendars of religious aren’t always the same, sometimes for very good reasons. For Saint Maurus’ feast day in January I posted a prayer for the sick through his intercession which may interest you. Today, we’re honoring Saint Benedict and his student Maurus, by giving this prayer more “press” recalling the profound love they had for the Cross of Christ.

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Let us pray:
Through the intercession of the Immaculate Mother of God, ever a virgin, and by the intercession of St. Benedict and of St. Maurus, may the power of God + the Father, the wisdom of God + the Son, and the might of God + the Holy Spirit, deliver you from this infirmity. Amen.

May God’s will be done in all things, and so may it be done in your case, just as you seek and desire only the praise and honor of the all-holy Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Lastly, the priest blesses the sick person with the relic of the holy cross, saying:
May the blessing of almighty God, Father, Son + and Holy Spirit, come upon you and remain with you forever. Amen.
This formula provided by Abbot Maurus Wolter OSB, the then Abbot-President of the Beuronese Congregation, was approved by the Sacred Congregation for all priests and deacons, to impart the blessing, provided the formula approved by the Holy See is used.
The life of Saint Maurus is filled with terrific narratives of healings at the request of this saint at the Throne of Grace. One such miracle was a man’s diseased arm that needed healing Maurus prayed prostrate “at the foot of the altar, pouring forth his soul in fervent prayer. Having finished praying, he took from the altar the case of relics which had been sent him by his master, St. Benedict, and went to the bedside of the sick man. Having exposed the relic of the Cross, he made the sign of the Cross over every part of the arm from the shoulder to the fingers,” saying:

O God, the Creator of all things, You ordained that Your only Son should take flesh of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit for the restoration of your people, and You deigned to heal the wounds and infirmities of our souls by the redemption accomplished upon the sacred and glorious wood of the life-giving Cross: do You also vouchsafe through this powerful sign to restore health to Your servant.

St Maurus’ Blessing of the Sick

St Placid2.jpgToday is the feast of the first companions of Saint Benedict of Norcia, Saints Maurus and Placid. The traditional blessing of the sick calling upon Saint Maurus’ intercession follows. You may not have a relic of the True Cross or relic of Saint Benedict to you available to you, so the priest should use a crucifix and the Saint Benedict Medal.

 Before the blessing is imparted, the relic of the true Cross of our Lord or the medal of Saint Benedict is exposed, at least two candles having been lit. The Act of Contrition and firm confidence should then be excited in the sick person, so that through the merits and intercession of Saint Benedict and Saint Maurus, if it should please God, health may be obtained. Three Our Fathers, Hail Marys and Glory be’s are recited in honor of the Blessed Trinity.

Then a priest or deacon, having put on a stole, and with his right hand holding up the relic or the medal of Saint Benedict before the sick person, says the following prayers:

V. Benediction and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, honor and power and strength to our God forever and ever.
R. Amen.

V. My foot has stood in the direct way.
R. In the churches I will bless You, O Lord.


Through the invocation of the most holy name of the Lord may that faith, in which St. Maurus, by employing the words of this blessing, healed the sick, and in which I, though an unworthy sinner, utter the selfsame words, restore your health as you desire:

In the name of the most holy and undivided Trinity and supported by the merits of the most holy Father Benedict, I bid you, N., to rise, stand upon your feet and be cured, in the name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit.

R. Amen.


Surely He has borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows: by His bruises we are healed.

V. He that forgives the iniquities of his creatures.
R. May He heal your infirmities.

V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come to You.

V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with your spirit.

Let us pray

O God, the Creator, of all things, You ordained that Your only Son should take flesh of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit for the restoration of your people and You deigned to heal the wounds and infirmities of our souls by the redemption accomplished upon the sacred and glorious wood of the life-giving Cross: do You also vouchsafe through this powerful sign to restore health to Your servant N.

Through the same Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

Let us pray

Lord Jesus Christ, You conferred upon the master, blessed Benedict, the privilege of obtaining from You whatsoever he might ask in Your name: vouchsafe, through his intercession, to heal all the infirmities of this Your servant: in order that, being restored to health, he (she) may give thanks to Your holy name.

You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever.

R. Amen.

The Blessing

Through the invocation of the Immaculate Mother of God and ever Virgin Mary, and the intercession of Saints Benedict and Maurus, may the Power + of God the Father, the Wisdom + of God the Son, and the Strength + of the Holy Spirit free you from your infirmities. Amen.

May God’s holy will be done, and may it be done to you as you wish and pray, for the praise and honor of the most holy Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The priest then blesses the sick person with the relic of the Cross or the medal of St. Benedict saying:

May the blessing of Almighty God, of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit descend upon you and abide with you forever.

R. Amen.

The sick person then kisses the relic or the medal of St. Benedict.

This blessing, if need be, may be repeated three times; also three votive Masses may be celebrated, namely in honor of the Passion, of St. Maurus, Abbot, and for the Poor Souls; otherwise the fifteen decades of the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary are to be prayed according to the aforesaid intentions by the sick person, or by others in the person’s name.

Saints Maurus and Placid

St Placid.jpgO God, you have filled us with wonder by the example of monastic observance in the lives of your blessed confessors Maurus and Placid. As we celebrate their memory and follow in their footsteps, may we come to share in their reward.

What we know of these saints we know from Saint Gregory the Great

who introduces them in his Life of Saint Benedict. These early companions of Saint Benedict are what you may call the first Benedictine oblates, ones who made an offering of themselves to God’s service. In time they lived their monastic life fully and without reservation.

On the life of Saint Maur.

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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