27 March 2009

St Benedict: A Preliminary Post

Today, 14 March on the Church’s calendar, is the feast day of St Benedict of Nursia in the Orthodox Church. As a member of a parish dedicated to St Benedict, as well as one who attempts to read and follow his Rule to some extent, I can hardly ignore him today. But as of last year my parish has received a blessing from our acting bishop, Bishop Peter of Cleveland, to begin celebrating our patronal feast on the day of the translation of St Benedict’s relics, 11 July. Thus, while we shall still have a Liturgy tomorrow (and fish for those who attend!), we no longer have to celebrate our main feast during Lent every year. For this reason, I will be posting my big St Benedict post(s) on that occasion rather than today, when most Orthodox would expect it.

Lest the reader be too disappointed, however, I will point out that I have already mentioned St Benedict at length on more than one occasion on this blog, as can be seen if one clicks on the ‘St Benedict’ label at the bottom of this post. I would also point out:

1) St Gregory the Great’s Life of St Benedict here, at Roger Pearse’s site,

2) an Orthodox America article on the 1500th anniversary of his birth here,

3) Sr Macrina’s recent posts on the Rule here.

In conclusion, here is the ‘Hymn of Praise’ for St Benedict from the Prologue, written by St Nicholas (Velimirović):


Benedict, a mighty-miracle-worker, was he,
A tearful devout person and a companion dear.
Led by the Spirit of God, by faith was correct,
A loving leader, mighty, resolute and humble.
Placid was his novice young;
Once, rising early, to the water Placid, he went,
At that moment holy father [Benedict] prayed to God,
But at once, his spirit perceived in the distance:
Behold, the brook suddenly rose, tumbling stones;
Placid already in death, tosses in the torrent,
The brook seized him and with him was toying,
The saint heard a scream, his own name he heard.
There, faith is necessary, but also pursuit,
Quickly, the Elder, Maurus the monk he sent.
Maurus, with a hurried leap, in the water jumped,
On the water as on a road, to Placid he rushed
And Maurus unaware, that on the water he was walking,
[The] prayers of the saint upheld him on the surface.
When Maurus and Placid to the elder came,
Kissed the elder's hand and Placid sobbed:
I saw you, O elder, above my head,
When my heart was overly-filled with dread
By the hairs you grabbed me and above the water lifted me
Until, in that moment, Maurus to my assistance came!
Through the prayers of Holy Father Benedict,
God, also proclaimed Maurus as a miracle-worker.


Anonymous said...

At the bottom of the life of St. Benedict on the Orthodox America article, it references St. Grocery, a saint I had not otherwise heard of. (Or perhaps somehow St. Gregory's name got scrambled.) - Fr. Benedict

Aaron Taylor said...

Ha! Thanks for pointing that out, Father! It does indeed to be a scrambling of 'St Gregory'...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the brief overview of the Fr. Stephanos Anagnostopoulos book. Our priest just brought that into our church bookstore this week.

You are right on the mark when you mention the errors you tend to find in Greek to English books. Sometimes they begin to give me a headache.

Anonymous said...

Where might I acquire the icon of St Benedict shown in your March 2009 blog or well written piece
thank you