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St. Benedict

11 July

In our domestic church...

- We read Holy Twins: Benedict & Scholastica & talk about the how siblings can help one another become saints

- We have Penne alle Norcina for dinner

- We pray the Troparion & Kontakion of the feast, and the prayer of St. Benedict

- We read about Benedict's rule & the practice of Lectio Divina, and do a Lectio Divina excercise at prayer time

St. Benedict Prayer.jpg

Patron: Against nettle rash; against poison; against witchcraft; agricultural workers; cavers; coppersmiths; dying people; erysipelas; Europe; farm workers; farmers; fever; gall stones; Heerdt, Germany; inflammatory diseases; Italian architects; kidney disease; monks; nettle rash; Norcia, Italy; people in religious orders; schoolchildren; servants who have broken their master's belongings; speliologists; spelunkers; temptations; Europe

Symbols: Bell; broken cup; broken cup and serpent representing poison; broken utensil; bush; crosier; man in a Benedictine cowl holding Benedict's rule or a rod of discipline; raven.

Troparion — Tone 1

By your ascetic labors, God-bearing Benedict, / you were proven to be true to your name. / For you were the son of benediction, / and became a rule and model for all who emulate your life and cry: / “Glory to Him who gave you strength! / Glory to Him who granted you a crown! / Glory to Him who through you grants healing to all!”

Kontakion — Tone 6

You were enriched with God’s grace; / your works agreed with your name, O Benedict, helpful servant of Christ God. / Through prayer and fasting you were revealed to be filled with the gifts of the Spirit of God! / You are a healer of the sick, the banisher of demons and speedy defender of our souls!

Benedict of Nursia  (480 – c. 543) is venerated in Western & Eastern Churches.

Benedict founded twelve communities for monks at Subiaco, Lazio, Italy (about 40 miles (64 km) to the east of Rome), before moving to Monte Cassino in the mountains of southern Italy

Benedict's main achievement is his "Rule of Saint Benedict", containing precepts for his monks.  It has a unique spirit of balance, moderation and reasonableness (ἐπιείκεια, epieíkeia), and this persuaded most religious communities founded throughout the Middle Ages to adopt it. As a result, his Rule became one of the most influential religious rules in Western Christendom. For this reason, Benedict is often called the founder of Western Christian monasticism.

He was very close to his twin sister, St. Scholastica.

read more about St. Benedict's history here...

The St. Benedict medal

Medals, crosses, rosaries, statues, paintings, and other religious articles have long been used as a means of fostering and expressing our religious devotion to God and the saints. Ikons, or painted images of Christ and the saints, are especially popular among Eastern Christians as an aid to Christian piety and devotion. The use of any religious article is therefore intended as a means of reminding us of God and of stirring up in us a ready willingness and desire to serve God and our neighbor. With this understanding we shall reject any use of religious articles as if they were mere charms or had some magic power to bring us good luck. Such is not the Christian attitude.


For the early Christians, the cross was a favorite symbol and badge of their faith in Christ. From the writings of St. Gregory the Great (540-604), we know that St. Benedict had a deep faith in the Cross and worked miracles with the sign of the cross. This faith in, and special devotion to, the Cross was passed on to succeeding generations of Benedictines.

Devotion to the Cross of Christ also gave rise to the striking of medals that bore the image of St. Benedict holding a cross aloft in his right hand and his Rule for Monks in the other hand. Thus, the Cross has always been closely associated with the Medal of St. Benedict, which is often referred to as the Medal-Cross of St. Benedict. In the course of time, other additions were made, such as the Latin petition on the margin of the medal, asking that by St. Benedict's presence we may be strengthened in the hour of death, as will be explained later.

We do not know just when the first medal of St. Benedict was struck. At some point in history a series of capital letters was placed around the large figure of the cross on the reverse side of the medal. For a long time the meaning of these letters was unknown, but in 1647 a manuscript dating back to 1415 was found at the Abbey of Metten in Bavaria, giving an explanation of these letters. They were the initial letters of a Latin prayer of exorcism against Satan... read more here

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