St Benedict, Co-Patron of Europe

Proverbs 2.1-9; Psalm 33; Matthew 19.27-29

On the 4th of September 476 the barbarian Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustulus, the last western Roman Emperor, and the Senate sent the imperial insignia to the Eastern Emperor.  This upset inaugurated the Dark Ages of Europe. 

St Benedict (circa 480-550) was born in Norcia, in Italy, and went to Rome to be educated.  Appalled at the worldliness he encountered there he resolved at about the age of 14 to life as a hermit and he went to live in a cave of mountainous Subiaco.   Benedict’s fame spread and disciples began to join him; he organised them into twelve small monastic communities.  Eventually he moved to Monte Cassino where he founded an abbey and wrote his Rule which he described as “a little school for the Lord’s service.”  Benedict drew on some Eastern models but his Rule steers a moderate path between individual zeal and formulaic institutionalism.  Benedict is considered the founder of Western monasticism. 

We give particular thanks on this day for the pastoral work of Benedictine monks in the history of this parish, and we pray for all Benedictine communities in this country and throughout the world. 

Posted in Daily Reflection.