Today is the Feast Day of St. Benedict and Miss Kelly gives us the story of the saint, including a rather “nettlesome” episode involving mortification of the flesh.
She also shows how much of Western civilization, and not just Church-y types, owe to St. Benedict.
What was the most important thing about St. Benedict was the establishment of the monasteries, which famously preserved Western cilivization by copying and saving manuscripts while Europe was overrun by “pagans and Arian barbarians.” At Monte Cassino, Benedict developed the Rule of the Monastery, which prescribed a life of liturgical prayer, study and manual labor. No longer could the hermits sit around all day and pray, they had to work! Manual labor was considered to be ennobling, a way to serve the Lord. Benedict said that “Idleness of the enemy of the soul,” which sounds a lot like “The idle mind is the playground of the devil.”
Of course, it’s also a special for Pope Benedict XVI who took the saint’s name as his own.
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