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St. Benedict

Saint Benedict of Nursia

Abbot & Confessor

Benedict, along with his twin sister Scholastica, was born to noble parents in Italy around the year 480. As a young man Benedict was sent to Rome for his education, but he was horrified by the sin and vice of urban life, and quietly left the city with his servant Cyrilla. They settled some forty miles from Rome, but Benedict attracted unwanted attention for miracle-working, so he fled into the wilderness where he encountered St. Romanus of Subiaco, who assisted Benedict in becoming a hermit. During this time Benedict famously threw himself into a thicket of thorns to purge himself of temptation to lust. Benedict then became abbot to some would-be monks, but they clashed so badly that some of the men tried to poison Benedict, and he returned to the eremitical life. Others continued to seek him out, however, and eventually Benedict founded several monasteries, including Monte Cassino, according to his famed Rule for monastic life. This Father of Western Monasticism died in the year of Our Lord 547, not long after his beloved sister Scholastica, who had founded her own Benedictine convent with her brother’s guidance. Benedict is celebrated on July 11th in the modern calendar.

 

Traditional Roman Martyrology for March 21st

ON Mount Cassino, the birthday of the holy abbot Benedict, who restored and wonderfully extended in the West the monastic discipline, which was almost destroyed. His life, brilliant in virtues and miracles, was written by pope St. Gregory.

At Alexandria, under the emperor Constantine and the governor Philagrius, the commemoration of the holy martyrs who were attacked and murdered by the Arians and the Gentiles whilst they were in the church on Good Friday.

The same day, the holy martyrs Philemon and Domninus.

At Catania, St. Birillus, who was consecrated bishop by St. Peter. After converting many Gentiles to the faith, in extreme old age he rested in peace.

At Alexandria, blessed Serapion, anchoret and bishop of Thmuis, a man of great virtue, who being forced into exile by the enraged Arians, went to heaven.

In the territory of Lyons, the abbot St. Lupicinus, whose life was resplendent with the lustre of holiness and miracles.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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