St Benedict, Patron of Europe

On this feastday (the lesser of the two in the Benedictine calendar) my mind always turns, not to Benedict himself, but to his Anglo-Saxon disciples. St Boniface, St Leoba of Wimborne and Tauberbischofsheim, that great crowd of Anglo-Saxon missionaries who crossed the sea to evangelize Frisia and the Germanic peoples, are, in an important sense, creators of the Europe we know today. With their reverence for Romanitas, their zeal, their friendship, they were true heirs of Benedict. They didn’t monasticize Europe, but they certainly laid the foundations of its Christian identity. We are in danger of losing that today. Europe is very far from being Christian in any sense, and we see the effects of that everywhere.

I shall be asking the prayers of our holy father Benedict to reinvigorate European monasticism β€” both streams, the male and the female β€” in the hope that we Benedictines can contribute something worthwhile to the new evangelisation. Perhaps you would join me in that prayer.


4 thoughts on “St Benedict, Patron of Europe”

  1. Yes, would be glad to join you. We celebrated St Benedict at Mass this am, even though Anglo-Catholic πŸ™‚

    Last week, I visited Cleeve Abbey, a profoundly peaceful and inspiring place which, for me, nudged our heritage a little deeper into context. It was interesting that the early Cistercians there followed the Rule of Benedict, with some later modification.They really did have life well organised and a system of priorities geared towards the well-being of humanity all round.

    We seem caught up in an mammon-driven mill race today and have forgotten the plot.

  2. We celebrated Benedict at our Mid-week communion on Tuesday (as we don’t have one on the actual Saint’s day). At least we didn’t remove it to another date.

    And a brief history of Benedict and his Ministry was read out at the start of the service by our Curate. Which prompted one or two to ask questions of her after the service.

    Always good to inquire about something which draws us to know more.

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