- Friday, 15 January 2016 10:25
Benedictines have today as the feast day of Saint Maurus and Saint Placidus, disciples of Saint Benedict. What sticks out in peoples minds about Maurus is the relation he has with Benedict’s impressive miracles. The miracle is recounted by Pope Saint Gregory the Great in chapter 7 of the Second Book of his Dialogues:
“On a certain day, as the venerable Benedict was in his cell, the young Placidus, one of the Saint’s monks, went out to draw water from the lake; and putting his pail into the water carelessly, fell in after it. The water swiftly carried him away, and drew him nearly a bowshot from the land. Now the man of God, though he was in his cell, knew this at once, and called in haste for Maurus, saying: ‘Brother Maurus, run, for the boy who went to the lake to fetch water, has fallen in, and the water has already carried him a long way off!’
What does the miraculous gesture of Saint Benedict show us? The raising of Placidus challenges what we typically believe about truth and reality and our disordered desire to be constantly in control. Benedict tells us that we are not in control –only God is. The ordering of our human desires requires us to be in alignment with God’s Holy Will. This episode also illustrates Benedict’s point in the monastic tradition and spoken of in the Rule of mutual obedience –the listening to each other and the following the lead of the superior. On one level mutual obedience teaches a fraternal reliance on one another; on a higher level, mutual obedience is a distinct form of listening to the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is manifests Himself in the discerning and holy activity of people who have their hearts and minds attuned to God’s Voice.
- Tuesday, 15 January 2013 06:20
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.
- Thursday, 15 January 2009 05:45
O 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.