Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Feast of St Benedict in the month of the Precious Blood

A famous painting of St Benedict by Fra Angelico.

Today is the feast of one of the Church’s most famous saints, St Benedict. Founder of the Benedictine Order and Western Monasticism. 'Following the known motto: Ora et labora, Pray and work, St Benedict and the numerous monasteries he founded in the entire Europe, began to build a new civilisation of love, reason and moral order', says Bishop Stanislaw Wielgus.

It is indeed appropriate that Pope Paul VI in 1964 made St Benedict patron of Europe, for Europe is in much need of spiritual help as in the days of Benedict himself. We read a few of our St Benedict books here in the home, enjoying particularly the stories of his raising people to life. (John 14:12) Here is his story.

Over at 4Real on a thread discussing St Benedict’s feast it was pointed out by Jenn, that he is also the patron of beekeepers.

We are great lovers of honey here, it is a chief sweetener in the home and my father use to keep bees in our backyard, the health benefits of honey are numerous. So we decided for the feast to go visit a bee farm to see a demonstration and talk, to learn all about bees, here are some of the photos from the day.

Outside the front entrance.

Door leading to the demonstration and talk on bees.

Some of the honey products for sale in their shop.

Part of the demonstration - what the inside of a hive looks like.

See where the honey is slowly filling...

Special apparatus for spinning the honey from the comb.

The man showed us one of the frames that was half full.

A demonstration of extracting the honey from the comb.

It was a great morning and I'd love to talk more of it but I am so tired tonight!

It would be remiss of me not to mention St Benedict's Medal a very well known and powerful sacramental of the Church. Particularly for it's protection against the devil. Here is a story told by the chief exorcist of Rome, Fr Gabriele Amorth in his book The Exorcist Tells His Story (a simply fabulous read) :

"One of the most famous instances of diabolical possession, which many books report, thanks to the accuracy of the historical documentation, concerns two brothers, the Burners, in Illfur, Alsatia. The two brothers were freed in 1869, following a series of exorcisms. It is reported that among the many, extremely vicious, actions of the demon was a plan to overturn the coach that transported the exorcist, a monsignor, and a nun. The devil was foiled in his intent only because the coach driver, at the last minute, was given a medal of Saint Benedict to protect him on the journey, and the good man devoutly put it in his pocket."

I'd like to finish with a beautiful prayer, once again from The Precious Blood & Mother manual pg 107, to St Benedict:

(St Benedict said to St Gertrude: "Whoever shall delight in recalling to my mind the grace which was vouchsafed to me, of dying while I was standing and praying. I will assuredly be with him in the hour of his death, and will stand between him and his enemies, wherever their assault is most deadly and furious.")

"O most glorious patriarch, holy father, Benedict, I recall to thy mind now, that great and glorious grace bestowed on thee, by our Lord, of breathing out thy last sigh as thou didst stand praying, on which account thy lips now exhale a fragrance which ravishes all the saints with delight; beseeching thee to be with me in the hour of my death, with loving fidelity, and to place thyself between me and the enemies, round about me, wheresoever thou seest them rage most furiously against me, so that, protected by thy presence, I may escape all their snares and reach the joys of heaven safe and blessed forever. Amen."

Our camera ran out of charge after returning from our bee trip so I didn't get to photograph our yummy sweet - a bee sting which is a special type of cake with custard/cream in the center and with honey and almond flakes on top - we all really enjoyed this sweet in honor of St Benedict's feast. I only wish I had the time to make the St Benedict Salad Stef is preparing for the feast!


Lynn said...

Annie, I enjoyed your post very much! What a great activity to do for the saint's day!

We have St. Benedict medals over both our front door and our back door of our home. Very protective is he!

God Bless you and your family!

Also: Annie, where could I get a copy of your Precious Blood and Mother prayer book? It seems so wonderful.

Anne (aussieannie) said...

Yes, there no better protection for your house than that!

Lynn, I will find out for you, I will email the sisters. They do sell a Precious Blood Manual but I am not sure if it is the same - but I will find out and get back.

My mum bought this book with a Precious Blood pack, a decade ago. An elderly man in NSW used to sell all sorts of prayer books, sacramentals that he had gotten from the States...