Vigil of the Feast of St. Benedict – 10 July 2020

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[The images are of a statue of St. Benedict, sculpted by David Holgate.  The statue is on the western wall of the (Anglican) Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity.  The work inscribed on the book—meant to be the Rule of St. Benedict—is the first word of the Rule, Ausculta.  (There is also a Catholic cathedral in Norwich, under the patronage of St. John the Baptist, another important saint in monastic history.  The Catholic diocese is that of East Anglia.)]

A blessed feast of St. Benedict to you all!

I share two items to aid your lectio/meditatio/oratio/contemplatio.  The first is this link to a documentary, Saint Benedict the Monk, by Bishop Barron.  It will be available for streaming through tomorrow, 11 July.

The second item is the office hymn, Gemma Coelestis.  The original Latin (possibly written by St. Peter Damian) can be found by following this link.  (Hood-doff to Jason John Edwards, Obl.S.B., for posting a copy of this hymn on our Facebook page.)

Benedict, precious jewel of the King of Heaven, / Model for the just and way for monks, / Call us forth / From this troubled world.

Spurning what was base, you set your heart on the stars. / You made heirs of your parents, / For you, God’s perfect vessel, / Were fit to repair a shattered one.

Great among a small company of hermits / You overcame your youthfulness and excelled in your labor / As you fervently undertook / The narrow beginnings of the strict life.

When a youth was buried in the rubble of a collapsing wall, / He was raised up as soon as you prayed; / With your prayer you restored / Sense to his flesh and health to his body.

You saw your sister’s soul, unknown to sin, / Attain the very heights / Of starry heaven / In the form of a gentle dove.

After this marvel you in turn / Sought starry heights, having mastered this life; / Your cloak shone forth / A flaming path charged with light.

Glory to the Father, to the Only Begotten, / And to you, loving Spirit, / Always their equal, / One God for all ages. Amen.

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