You are invited to join us today at 11:30 am in the Church, here at Trinity, to celebrate the Feast of Saint Benedict.
Today the Benedictine family celebrates the Feast of Saint Benedict of Nursia, Abbot and Religious Founder. He is also the Patron of Western Monasticism, Europe, and of a happy death. In 595, Pope St. Gregory the Great sent Augustine of Canterbury to Kent to found the successful Christian mission to Britain. Both Gregory and Augustine were Benedictine monks. The legacy of Saint Benedict continues in the Church of England to this day. Archbishop Thomas Cranmer drew heavily from Benedictine sources in crafting the first Book of Common Prayer. Thus, it embodies a truly Benedictine charism in enabling all the church–but especially the laity to “seek God” through the “Work of God,” which is daily prayer. Recently, the Bishop of London described it in this way; “The BCP was an attempt to make a heavily Benedictine influenced spirituality of prayer and Eucharist available to all people. I have heard it called “the monasticism of all believers,” but in the very least in was taking ascetical spiritual practices from the monastery and putting them right in the bedrooms, kitchens, and parish churches of lay people.”
An old monastic antiphon captures the spirit of Saint Benedict, “Holy Father Benedict, the man of God, blessed in word and in deed.” This alludes to the fact that benedictus, in Latin, means “blessed.” A very famous Latin motto often used by Benedictines is ut in omnibus glorificetur deus, “That in all things God may be glorified.”
Saint Benedict had a great devotion to the Holy Cross. On the 1400th anniversary of his birth (1880), a special medal, “The Jubilee Medal,” was issued which has become very popular–among Benedictines and others.
This lovely collect for the Feast of Saint Benedict is taken from For All the Saints (The Anglican Church of Canada):
you endowed your holy servant Benedict with gifts of discernment and power
to be a true and faithful guide
in the way of Christian perfection.
Instill in our hearts the virtues of stability and concord, that our prayers may be fixed on you and our judgments may be formed
according to your great commandment of love; through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
For those who are not able to be with us in person today, here is the .pdf of our Bulletin for Today’s Eucharist. And an insert describing the Jubilee Medal of Saint Benedict.