Monday 20th November 2017

Home » saints » Currently Reading:

Catholic Heroes… St. Benedict

July 8, 2014 saints No Comments

By CAROLE BRESLIN

Every month the Apostleship of Prayer publishes the intentions of the Holy Father: one for a universal intention and one for an evangelical intention. In June 2014, the evangelical intention was that Europe may rediscover its Christian roots through the witness of believers.
The advent of Christian civilization coincided with the advent of Western civilization. The Benedictine monasteries established throughout Europe brought about the development of farming, education, and peace. These Benedictine monasteries were started by St. Benedict.
In How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization, the author, Thomas E. Woods, explains how St. Benedict came to be called the Father of Europe. The monasteries he founded were the centers of the “literary inheritance of the ancient world, not to mention literacy itself, in the aftermath of the fall of Rome.” The monks founded by St. Benedict developed a network of “model factories, centers for breeding and livestock, centers of scholarship, spiritual fervor, the art of living and social action” (p. 5).
St. Benedict was not the founder of monasticism, but he took monasticism in a new direction in Europe in the fifth and sixth centuries. As a young man, he showed great proclivity for the spiritual life. He was born of a wealthy and noble family in the mountain village of Nursia, northeast of Rome, around 480. When he was a young teen, his parents sent him to Rome to further his education. However, at that time the presence of the Arian barbarians did much to destroy what little morality was left, as they brought their pagan ways to the city.
As a result, St. Benedict decided to leave Rome and go to the village of Enfide, about 30 miles from Rome. His nurse cared and cooked for him. Even though they stayed here for a short time, it was long enough for Benedict to engage in deep discernment. One thing that might have triggered this decision may have been the time he miraculously repaired a borrowed pot that his nurse had dropped and shattered.
Benedict soon realized that God called him to be more than a quiet layman. He knew he must be totally removed from the world, and leave even the quiet life of Enfide. Thus he went to the hills of Subiaco, where he met the holy monk Romanus.
Romanus led him to a cave that was nearly impossible to reach through thick forests and across great canyons. In this cave, Benedict lived for the next three years. The first outsider to see Benedict after this time was a priest who had received a vision from God to take food to him on Easter. Benedict had lost track of time and did not realize that it was Easter, so he ate with the priest.
Not long after, a group of shepherds mistook him for a wild animal because he appeared with animal skins for clothing. When they realized he was a man, they recognized his holiness. They gained much from listening to him about the love of God. Word began to spread about the holy man of the hills. More and more people brought him food as he counseled and preached to them.
Like all holy men, he was severely tempted, especially with the temptations of the flesh. His cure was simple and one used by many saints down through the centuries: having stripped off his clothes, he threw himself into some briers and nettles so that the wounds of the flesh would heal the wounds of the soul. This sacrifice freed him from that particular temptation for the rest of his life.
His reputation inspired a nearby group of monks to seek him out when they needed to replace their abbot who had died. Benedict refused on the grounds that they would not like his austere lifestyle. As they were relentless in their pursuit of him, he finally agreed to serve them. His initial response to them proved to be correct when they plotted to get rid of him.
Benedict discovered their plot to kill him when he blessed a poisoned carafe of wine, which then burst, revealing the plot to him. He immediately rebuked the monks and left to return to Subiaco. Here he would begin to implement that call which he had discerned earlier, but which he had not acted upon.
St. Benedict began to gather men from all walks of life to live in harmony with each other in monasteries away from the world. These men were both nobles and barbarians, rich and poor, learned and simple. They lived in small wooden huts with 12 men in each hut under chosen monks to guide them.
The men lived in harmony by following the example of St. Benedict who spent much time in prayer as well as working hard to support the men — ora et labora. Some historians comment that it is a miracle in itself that the nobles, who joined him with their great abhorrence of physical labor, also joined in the manual tasks of cleaning, farming, and cooking.
St. Benedict — as Pope St. John Paul II would write many centuries later — taught that physical labor was not only dignified but also a way to grow in holiness. Eventually, St. Benedict made it a part of the rule that every member had to engage in labor.
Benedict stayed in Subiaco until circumstances forced him to leave in order to protect his work. The popularity of the saint and his men became so widespread and universal that envious men sought to destroy it by spreading false rumors and trying to poison the saint. His enemies even went so far as to send women of no virtue to tempt the men into sin.
Recognizing that the motivation behind these actions was none other than to undermine his work, St. Benedict abruptly packed and left Subiaco. When he arrived in Monte Cassino, an elevated remote location, he began to draw more people once again. This enabled him to destroy the temple of Apollo there and build two chapels once he had completed a forty-day fast. People would bring rocks and stones which eventually became the great abbey of Monte Cassino. Benedict himself placed the foundation around 530.
Here in Monte Cassino his rule was formalized and the pattern established that would bring the advancement of civilization to Europe as the monks sought to teach, sanctify, and labor not only for God but also for man. Benedict did much to confirm his work by the many services to the poor and needy, including miracles for their benefit.
In 543, six days before his death, he instructed his men to dig his grave. He received our Lord and died just as the grave was completed. His body was buried next to his sister, St. Scholastica, on the hill where he had destroyed the temple to Apollo. His feast day is July 11.

+    +    +

(Carole Breslin home-schooled her four daughters and served as treasurer of the Michigan Catholic Home Educators for eight years. For over ten years, she was national coordinator for the Marian Catechists, founded by Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ.)

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Bannon Discusses Growing Up in ‘a Very Observant Catholic Family’ in the South Where the KKK ‘Tarred and Feathered’ Priests

In a freewheeling new interview with author Keith Koffler, Steve Bannon recounted his upbringing in a “very observant Catholic family” in the 1950s and 1960s and how that molded who he is now. Koffler, author of Bannon: Always the Rebel, asked Mr. Bannon—Breitbart…Continue Reading

Bishop McElroy decries extremism on religious freedom, calls for solidarity in American politics

WASHINGTON (RNS) — In an address at Georgetown University, Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego criticized both extremes in the fight over religious freedom and called for public consensus based on solidarity to heal our nation in this hyper-partisan age. McElroy…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke makes ‘final plea’ for clarity to Pope Francis on dubia anniversary

ROME, November 14, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – One year to the day after the dubia were made public, Cardinal Raymond Burke today is turning again to Pope Francis and to the whole Church in an urgent and final plea for clarity.…Continue Reading

Giving bishops final word on Mass translations would ‘destroy’ Church unity: Cardinal Muller

November 10, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The unity of the Church would be “destroyed” if bishops’ conferences, not the Vatican, had the final word over translations of liturgical texts, said Cardinal Gerhard Müller in a recent interview. The former prefect of…Continue Reading

Notre Dame reverses decision to end coverage of birth control in university insurance plans

notredame

In a reversal of school policy, the University of Notre Dame announced this week that it would continue to cover contraceptives for its employees, according to a report in the South Bend Tribune. The news marked a departure from Notre Dame’s announcement…Continue Reading

House Tax Reform Bill “Unacceptable” As Written, Say U.S. Bishops Chairmen

WASHINGTON—In a letter of November 9, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, and Bishop George V. Murry, SJ of Youngstown, Ohio called for amendments to the current draft of the House…Continue Reading

Truck honoring Dubia Cardinal stopped by police while circling Vatican

ROME, November 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Today in Rome, a publicity truck carrying billboard-size images of Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, the dubia Cardinal who passed away three months ago, and Pope John Paul II made its way through the streets of…Continue Reading

Trump admin asks Supreme Court to ‘discipline’ lawyers for rushing teen’s abortion

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The Department of Justice (DOJ) is petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to punish the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for lying to the government about the timeline of an underage illegal immigrant’s abortion.…Continue Reading

Christian nurse sues hospital for requiring her to assist abortions

DURHAM, North Carolina, November 3, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A Catholic nurse is suing Duke University Hospital, claiming that the university discriminated against her religious and pro-life beliefs by requiring her to assist in abortions. Sara T. Pedro was told during her employee…Continue Reading

It’s ‘impossible’ to change Catholic teaching against contraception: Cardinal

ROME, October 28, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The Church’s teaching against contraception as expressed in Humanae Vitae is an “extraordinary example” of how the “truth of faith” deepens and develops while “continuing to be identical to itself,” Cardinal Walter Brandmüller stated at a…Continue Reading

Thousands sign online petition to remove Madison’s bishop

MADISON (WKOW) — There’s an online petition being circulated to remove the Bishop of the Diocese of Madison. Bishop Robert Morlino is being criticized for his attitude about the LGTBQ community.  Earlier this week, an email was sent to priests in the…Continue Reading

Pontifical Academy of Sciences welcomes leftist California Governor Jerry Brown to keynote

ROME (ChurchMilitant.com) – The Pontifical Academy of Sciences is again throwing open its doors to abortion and population control activists. From November 2–4, the Vatican’s scientific academy will host a conference on the environment that will feature, among others, far-left…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Progressives hate everything old, including the elderly

November 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Earlier this year, Maclean’s Magazinepublished an article asking a question that seemed to capture the prevailing mood on the Left: “Should older people lose the right to vote?” Because old people are practically dead, the author explained, there are some today who feel that they vote with only a short-term vision in mind, and thus should be barred from interfering with the Progress that would be brought about should young people be allowed…Continue Reading

Venerable Solanus Casey: the priest who answered the doorbell.

Vatican City, Nov 17, 2017 / 06:00 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Venerable Solanus Casey, a Capuchin priest from Wisconsin, was humble before all else, said the postulator of his cause for sainthood. The life of Venerable Solanus Casey is the story of his “humility, his simplicity, as well as his acceptance of whatever life gave him,” Franciscan-Capuchin Fr. Carlo Calloni told CNA Nov. 15. Fr. Solanus Casey is an American-born Capuchin priest who died in 1957.…Continue Reading

Swiss Planned Parenthood president invited to speak at Vatican

November 18, 2017 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life co-hosted a conference on the topic of end of life issues that included several speakers who oppose the Catholic Church’s teachings on the right to life, including the president the board of Switzerland’s Planned Parenthood affiliate, and the president of the pro-euthanasia Royal Dutch Medical Association. The conference, entitled the “WMA Europ

Catholic priests, activists to stand trial for pro-life witness inside abortion facility

November 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – On Monday, November 20, six pro-lifers will stand trial in a State of Virginia courtroom for their defense of the unborn—facing a possible jail term of up to 90 days. On Friday, September 15, 2017 in three different cities across the United States, pro-lifers entered abortion centers to talk to women scheduled for abortions. By refusing to leave the clinics when told to do so by law enforcement, they offered…Continue Reading

The story of an underground Catholic priest in China

Madrid, Spain, Nov 17, 2017 / 12:15 am (ACI Prensa).- Fr. Joseph of Jesus is a Chinese priest, faithful to the Catholic Church. Life is not easy for Catholics in China. Those who adhere to Rome are persecuted by the Chinese government, which only grants freedom of worship to those belonging to the state-controlled Patriotic Church. Fr. Joseph recently shared his story on the “In the Footsteps of the Nazarene” program by the EUK Mamie…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic… Questions In The Aftermath Of The Las Vegas Tragedy

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly]. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society…Continue Reading

A Movie Review… “The Star” Shines For Christmas

By REY FLORES As children, many of us grew up watching television, particularly memorable special broadcasts of The Wizard of Oz, Rankin and Bass’ Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and of course, all the holiday-themed Peanuts animated specials. My favorite was A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving where Snoopy and his little bird friend Woodstock fix a Thanksgiving…Continue Reading

Saints Francisco And Jacinta Of Fatima

By FR. SEAN CONNOLLY (Editor’s Note: This is the tenth in a series of articles on the one hundredth anniversary of our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima. Fr. Connolly is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York.) + + + So far in this series of articles published in commemoration the centenary of our Lady’s…Continue Reading

Mary Ann Glendon… A Voice For The Voiceless

By DONALD DeMARCO Mary Ann Glendon was born on October 7, 1938, in Dalton, Mass., a small town nestled in the Berkshire Hills. Her father was an Irish Catholic, her mother a Yankee Congregationalist. She learned a great deal from her mother’s religion about social organization and from her father, how Catholicism “enlarged the spirit,…Continue Reading

A Summary Of The Events… Centenary Renews Fatima Prophecies

By JOHN BURKE (Editor’s Note: John Burke, a journalist in England, has followed Fatima’s centenary events since his mid-May visit there.) + + + The shrine at Fatima begins its pastoral year with Advent, so the centennial celebrations of the six Marian events in 1917 can now be reviewed. What will remain for Catholics the…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… The Kingmakers Reject A Papal Favorite

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The approval of one’s peers is a highly prized trophy in the complicated world of adult professional relationships. Many work for years in obscurity with little acknowledgment. The opportunity to be championed and appreciated is a blessing not to be taken askance when other forms of promotion are no longer possible for those already at…Continue Reading

The Sacraments Instituted By Christ… The Cisterns Of Grace

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 3 In the last article, I finished the text with a prayer for the bishops of Malta, who now allow people living in adultery to receive Holy Communion. May our Lady guide them to repentance, and to correct their wrong teaching, lest they answer before God our Lord for leading people into committing a…Continue Reading

The Recipient, Minister, And Celebration Of Holy Orders

By DON FIER A significant reform of Vatican Council II, as we saw last week, was the restoration of the permanent diaconate in the Western Church “as a proper and permanent rank of the hierarchy” (Lumen Gentium, n. 29 § 2). An ordained ministry that has always been retained by the Churches of the East, it can be conferred on…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Asked in the past whether we will know family and friends in Heaven, we have responded in the affirmative. We would now like to call your attention to a book that provides additional confirmation of this belief. It is called In Heaven We’ll Meet Again: The Saints and Scripture on Our Heavenly Reunion, and was written by Francois…Continue Reading

King And Shepherd

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER The Solemnity Of Christ The King (YR A) Readings: Ezek. 34:11-12, 15-17 1 Cor. 15: 20-26, 28 Matt. 25:31-46 In the first reading today we hear God speaking through the Prophet Ezekiel saying that He will tend His sheep as a shepherd tends his sheep. This might strike us as strange since the feast is about…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Margaret Of Scotland

By CAROLE BRESLIN Quite frequently saints have left their home country and died in another country, but most of them died in a foreign land because they left to serve as missionaries to Asia, Africa, or America. The land of Hungary, however, has seen a few saints depart because they were of royal families, including St. Elizabeth of Hungary, who…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blesseds Kamen Vitchev, Pavel Djidjov, And Josaphat Chichkov

By CAROLE BRESLIN At the end of World War II, the USSR took control of countries in Eastern Europe. The governments were led by Communists who were great enemies of organized religion, especially the Catholic Church. As conditions worsened, the persecution and suppression of the Catholic Church increased in its severity. In November 1952, the Bulgarian government, after a puppet…Continue Reading