330-379. Doctor of Monasticism. Feast Jan 2nd.
Great is one of the first doctors of the Eastern Church. Originally
in the early church, and even later when anyone accomplished
extraordinary deeds for the church, they received the name "the
great”. For example, St Gertrude the Great, the queen-flower of the
Benedictine Order, and one of my favorites, was one of the first
promoters of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus that has been
recorded. Many years later that devotion became more popular. Read
St Gertrude published by Tan Books Publication Inc., listed in the Doctoral Sources, to understand the great personal
relationship that Gertrude had with Jesus Christ.
tremendous contributions to the early church. He is both a Father
and a Doctor of the church for his holiness, invaluable writings and
charitable actions.The Catholic Almanac, listed in the sources,
defines the difference between Father and Doctor of the Church. His
defending the freedom of Christians toward the Roman Emperor is most
relevant for our freedom today. It is a lesson that should encourage
us to treasure our religious freedom. This is especially true when
we see many people of the world, especially in Asian countries, that
do not have the religious freedom we enjoy in the Western world.
Religious freedom, both internationally and nationally, is
constantly being challenged, infringed upon and denied. What
happened in the past is again taking place. Only with daily
vigilance and virtue will our values and habits transform the world
and us. We need to persevere and remain steadfast in the practice of
our faith and tradition if we are to behave as Basil. We must stay
open to the movement of grace and opportunity if we are to learn and
grow in holiness. It is not always easy.
When Basil was young, he
opened a school and practiced law. He was very popular and everyone
wanted to hear him speak in public. His mother and father were
nobles and he was highly educated. He became a great scholar
afterwards. However, Basil felt he was being tempted by thoughts of
pride because he was so popular. Because of his fear of God, he sold
all his goods, gave money to the poor and became a monk. He
interrupted his education in Athens and surrendered to
No one can really understand how and why God calls
people into the monasteries and then, in some cases, takes them out of the monastery and returns them to secular society. Each are special
vocations. Something triggers this. It is an unmistakable and clear
feeling, idea or conviction. God daily uses sacraments, sacramentals, places, things and, especially
other people to greatly enrich us. Our Father touches, guides and moves
us through printed materials, the media, movies, the internet, and everything that touches
our senses and souls. Especially in suffering and crosses, God draws
all creatures to himself. Sometimes in rare instances, God comes and
touches us by extraordinary means in silence, through our angel or
an inner voice. God also makes the presence of the Deity seen by
visions and different manifestations. Most recently, God has
permitted his Mother to abundantly reveal divine messages and
secrets to an exceptional degree. The gifts of God and the call of
God are signs of God's favor and mercy. They are as mysterious as
St Basil founded what was probably the first
monastery in Asia. Father Foley’s book, listed in the Sources,
states that he is to the monks of the East what St Benedict is to
the West. Basil’s principles greatly influenced Eastern monasticism.
However, we must not think that monasticism is the only place where
contemplation takes place. The later holy rule of St Benedict, which
flourishes today, was greatly influenced by St Basil. He laid the
foundation for monasticism.
Contemplation, or the turning of
our hearts and minds to God in prayer, is profound adoration and
reflection. It is everyone’s calling. Whether we acknowledge, want
or deny it, God has intimate designs for us. God knew of you before
you were born. He formed you in your mother’s womb. “God calls you
one and calls you all, to feast within His banquet hall.”
are called to the interior life within our hearts and mind wherever
we are-not only in monasteries. Our response to God sometimes takes
great courage and confidence. God graces us with attraction toward him
in mysterious ways. We must cooperate with our own particular
calling if we are going to enter into the banquet hall of our soul
where God dwells. This is the interior world. Only the humble find
God because he identifies with those who are meek and see themselves
in the true perspective as God sees us.
Our proud nature
urges us outward. Only the humble submit to contemplation totally
and fulfill their profound calling. God’s invites us to enter within
ourselves, minus the sights and sounds that bombard us through our
senses. It takes great spiritual strength that only God can
provide. It is heroic to achieve this. God is Spirit and those who
worship him must do so in spirit.
St Basil’s example is a
marvelous lesson on how to fight pride and be humble. To be proud is
sometimes virtuous. To have pride is a vice always. It is a killer
vice. It is a big, bad major slayer! Pride leads the parade of
capital sins and always wants to be first. Humility seeks the least
How do you know when your ambition and good
intentions are pleasing to God? You know only if you practice
virtue, are faithful to the commandments and acknowledge your total
dependence on God.
The proud do not submit because they are
estranged from God. They may pretend to submit because of
embarrassment. However, they dislike being humble. Pride is a form
of disobedience. Every genuine prayer is humble prayer and instills
humility. Proud people think they pray but it is a sham. Going to
church is no guarantee that you are praying. However, if you do not
go, you should pray extra hard. We can learn immensely from Basil
from his tremendous insights into human nature and his battles and
struggles for religious independence and freedom. Basil will
enlighten us to be humble and avoid pride. Turn to God through Basil
The below quotation is from Basil when he speaks
about the Spirit of God.
"From the Spirit comes
foreknowledge of the future, understanding of the mysteries of
faith, insight into the hidden meaning of Scripture, and other
special gifts. Through the Spirit we become citizens of heaven, we
are admitted to the company of the angels, we enter into eternal
happiness, and abide in God. Through the Spirit we acquire a
likeness to God; indeed, we attain what is beyond our most sublime
aspirations-we become God."
These words, especially the last
three-we become God-are powerful and provocatively written for all
humankind by a wise and learned person. However, the words must be
interpreted and comprehended in the right sense and spirit. St Basil
meant we become God by participation and not by nature. Doctors are
designated official guides given us by the church. They, with God’s
grace, enlighten us in a special way. We need to be open and docile
to the Spirit of God to understand what God is communicating to us
The Spirit is God's gift and promise to
humankind. With God's gifts comes a train of other favors. St Basil
writes about God's gifts and these are taken from the Rules for
Monks. "What works can adequately describe God's gifts? They are so
numerous that they defy enumeration. So great are they that any one
of them demands our total gratitude in response... How shall we
repay the Lord for all his goodness to us? He is so good that he
asks no recompense except our love: that is the only payment he
desires. To confess my personal feelings, reflecting on all these
blessings I find myself overcome by a kind of dread and numbness at
the very possibility of ceasing to love God, and of bringing shame
upon Christ because of my lack of reconciliation and my
preoccupation with trivialities."
Perhaps it was because of
Basil's deep sense of indebtedness to God, parents, family, friends
and his inability to realize all he received, that he wanted to
enter into a more solitude life to ponder the gifts and favors from
God. For those reasons, perhaps, he abandoned all to search his
heart and mind. He gave it to God in the monastery. It was there
that he attempted to discover peace of mind and spirit.
retreated to a mountainside near present day Turkey. There he
founded a monastery and soon attracted a number of followers. This
was before St Benedict who afterwards wrote his famous Benedictine
rule for those in monasteries. It has lasted down through the ages
and even today. We can be sure that Benedict learned from Basil and
his earlier followers.
During the fourth century, Basil was
engaged in a life and death struggle with Arianism and he was
summoned to the fray. He was made a bishop only six years after his
ordination. Again we see God taking people out of the world and then
returning them back. However, then they are fortified, enriched and
steeped in the Spirit which the monastery, solitude and silence
often affords. Some people think of this as a penitential way of
life. It is! However, it is God's way to give us favors and gifts
that far outweigh the paltry effort humans give to God.
more we give to God, the more we realize we owe God more. We come to
the conclusion that love can not be repaid by anything accept to
surrender, obey and humbly allow God to use us daily in any manner
the Almighty places us. Interesting enough, penances are not
generally recommended to people in poor health. Basil was in poor
health and he performed many penances more out of love for God than
to think he was actually giving God anything important.
allows challenges and spiritual struggles to perfect us. At times,
these trials can come from our self-weakness and from people and
circumstances outside of ourselves whom we dearly love and cherish.
Basil was misunderstood, misrepresented, accused of heresy and
ambition by purported friends and clergy. Basil's appeal to the pope
brought no response. He was not greatly recognized or appreciated in
his own lifetime even though he assisted many to unity and rallied
his fellow Catholics who where crushed by tyranny and torn by
He defended the church against the Arian
heretics and wrote many books about this subject. Basil is the
patron of many causes.
“Basil’s life as a bishop was lived
in the midst of the sort of miserable muddles so common in the
history of the church, when everybody is more or less in the wrong,
no one trusts anybody else, and Christian charity is very little in
evidence. His own charity never failed, and he worked unceasingly
for peace and unity.” This was taken from the book entitled The
Saints, edited by John Coulson.
Perhaps the most important
lesson we can learn from St Basil the Great is that we endeavor to
be attuned to the Spirit wherever we are and be docile to the
movements, motions and touches of the Holy Spirit. God is always
encouraging us to listen to his continual promptings, messages,
calls and invitations.
Jesus Christ said to his very first
followers in public ministry: come and see where I live. Basil was
taken from the world to pray and returned to the world to pray even
more. He teaches us that God is always calling us to pray wherever
we are living. His messages is that the surest way to be assured
that we are listening to God and responding daily to God's infinite
love for us is to look within and take time to listen to God
without. We must listen to others too and hear God speaking outside
as well as inside our hearts and minds.
It is more perfect
not to blame others for our difficulties even if they are the cause
of the hardship. Reason should bow to charity at times if we truly
want to be as Jesus. Basil was obedient and accepted more
responsibility in becoming a bishop even though he would have
preferred a more secluded life style. Obedient to a "higher"
authority is necessary to remain a true servant of God. Obedient to
a “lower" authority and obedient to death is a most praiseworthy
virtue that requires absolute trust in God and total surrender. That
is the manner in which Jesus observed and practiced. We must be
moved and directed by the Holy Spirit always in imitation of Christ
to reach our true destiny.
Basil teaches us that God desires
creatures to be steeped in the Spirit and this requires self-denial,
discipline and generous efforts toward charity and service to others
regardless of our profession, daily duties and vocation. This is
impossible without sincere prayer and application of that prayer
time according to one's life style, obligations and interest. It is
not always clear-cut. Listen to the wise words of Basil when it
comes to charity towards all: “ The bread which you do not use is
the bread of the hungry; the garment hanging in your wardrobe is the
garment of him who is naked; the shoes that you do not wear are the
shoes of the one who is barefoot; the money that you keep locked
away is the money of the poor; the acts of charity that you do not
perform are so many injustices that you commit.”
is steeped in mystery. People are sometimes a mystery to themselves
as well as to others. God uses people in our lifetime to guide, help
and direct us. Trusting in divine providence is a gift. We should
aim to surrender obediently to authority over us because God has
given them that power. As Jesus said to Pilate: you would have no
power over me if it were not given to you from above. Nearly all
religious orders of the Catholic tradition take the vow of
obedience. Being submissive to others will help us to be humble,
limit our pride and rebelliousness.
Basil, the Doctor of
Monasticism, provides us a glowing example of order, virtue and
docility to the Holy Spirit in an age when we want to be on our own
and “free”. It is only the truth (Jesus said He was the Truth) that
will set us free and that truth is based on humility. Basil is a
model for all people inside and outside the monastery. This includes
monks and nuns, married couples, men, women and children of all
races, ranks, classes and customs. All who seek salvation will find
in St Basil the Great, happiness, peace and health of body and soul
when they submit to the divine will.
The divine will and plan
for us is not so easy. It takes discovery, knowledge and much
practice. It is a constant discovering process. It is simple and
profound. It may take a day or God may reveal it to you at the very
end of your life. It is mysterious as it is marvelous.
people place holiness on speaking kindly to others. Others highlight
perseverance. You may think that learning from others is critical to
your spiritual growth or acknowledging your faults or sins is more
important. Everyone is different.
Some believe that having a
spiritual director is the best way while others emphasize living
simply. There is a school of thought that subscribe to accepting the
will of God in all things and others think the key to holiness is
recognizing the presence of God. How can one be honest with
Why should we accept others the way they are,
especially if, “ the way they are” is totally different from our
way? In a world with everyone “on the go”, how is it possible to be
serene and centered? Who has these answers?
Please arrange in sequential order from the above three paragraphs what you think is best priority for you before you read the below information. Then, read the
below advice and sequential order that St Benedict and St Basil
would encourage you to follow. There are no right or wrong answers.
This humility exercise was taken from the Liguorian Magazine,
published by the Redemptorists and founded by another doctor of the Church, St Alphonsus Liguori (listed on the sidebar on the homepage). Obviously and fittingly, the publication is named after him.
1. Recognize the presence of
2. Accept the will of God
3. Accept spiritual
5. Acknowledge faults
7. Be honest about yourself
8. Be willing to learn from
9. Listen to people
10. Speak kindly to others
Accept others the way they are
12. Be centered and
Monasticism is not for everyone. But, the above 12
steps of humility are for everyone. They are practical and decent
duties. They are not only for monks and those living in monastic
settings. Basil and the entire monastic tradition have some most
valuable lessons and advice for us to be happy and virtuous. It
starts, however, with humility and our cooperation with
Pride, envy and anger are lethal vices that smother
and stifle the spiritual life and shun God. It is only through daily
prayer, charity, faith, sacrifices and the above practices that the
love and knowledge of God will fully possess us. Then our life will
be lived in union with God and our actions and thoughts will be seen
in us as Jesus, Himself, would act or think.
If you would like to truly know some of the spiritual dangers and horrors of pride,
envy, and anger, or any of the 7 Captial Sins, explore the bottom link.
CATHOLIC SACRED MUSIC
God will help us
to become saints where we are if we take time and seek Him.
Monasticism is a rare calling. However, we can be contemplatives in
the world when we allow the Spirit to move, direct and guide us. We
may not be too aware of it. However, others will see our good
qualities. You can’t hide holiness; it shines radiantly and is
Our pride takes advantages of others far too
often. We justify it through our own rationale. It is the hardest
things in the world to submit to authority, tradition and
“old-fashion” religion because many seem like
Surrendering our wills to God through established
order, rules and principles is very easy to get away from, forget or
omit because we prize being independent and “free”. Humility to
God’s laws and commandments and acceptance of them (even if we can’t
fully understand them and see how they are related to us) is the
surest path to virtue, peace and happiness. Sometimes being humble
seems to be the hardest thing in the world to achieve. It takes
daily discipline, heroic effort and constant challenge because our
nature is wounded, impaired and extraordinarily selfish. Whether we
want to admit it or not, we are in need of grace and God’s help. It
is our biggest hurdle to accept this truth. We are blinded by our
vanity, success and gifted intelligence. Our natural talents and
gifts need to submit to our spiritual and higher gifts all the more
because they are invisible.
Basil ran away from his notable
success. Some of us have to do the same thing. By getting on one’s
knees, one stands highest in the sight of God. Those who humble
themselves will be exalted and those who exalt themselves will be
We mustn’t think that Basil was not involved with
people in the world and focused exclusively with monastic matters.
He founded shelters for the indigents, hospice for foreigners and
organized relief operations in time of famine and epidemics. Fr. Foley stated that he was tireless in pastoral care,
worked in a soup kitchen and fought in the white slave market of his day. Father goes on to say that "Basil faced the same
problems as modern Christians. Sainthood meant trying to preserve the spirit of Christ in such perplexing and painful problems
as reform, organization, fighting for the poor, maintaining balance and peace in misunderstandings." Basil, by trial and error,
maintained a harmonious balance between prayer and action and was guided by the Holy Spirit continually.
Praying, worshipping God in your thoughts, in the faces that you meet daily, praising God in the crosses that confront
us daily and submitting to authority in unpleasant circumstances will allow and invite the Spirit to dwell and remain
within your imagination, feeelings and attitudes exactly as God's Spirit remained with Basil.
one would be able to endure a monastic setting without sincere
humility and courage. If they did, they would make life for everyone else
miserable. This sometimes happens and drastic measures have to be
taken. It is much easier to be one’s own boss in the world because
one is not bound by an unchangeable schedule for the most part. It
is for that reason that those who have the most freedom to exercise
liberty ought to beg God for the courage to be humble and follow
Basil. His principles of monasticism and what the holy examples of
women and men in secluded settings offers us is a glorious example
that God is alive daily to sanctity, give us peace and joy to be
Basil affirmed the religious character of
Christian marriage and comments on Mary’s marriage to St Joseph. As
all of the other doctors of the Church, Basil testifies to the
virginity of Mary and her great humility that he imitated throughout
his life. He died at 49 worn out from good deeds and the love of God
for others burning in his heart. Although he spent only five years
in the monastery, he repeatedly answered the continual call from God
because of his great humility.
For icons and additional
info of Basil:
read the history, spirit and holy rule of St Benedict:
St.Basil: Biography and Selected Online Writings --Early Church Father & Doctor of the Church--by Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D. See link below
Saint Basil the Great
This is a link and an interesting products from the Basilian Fathers: COFFEE
Google.com has about 7,560,000 sites for St. Basil.
St Basil, Father and Doctor:
St Basil was tempted by one of the seven capital sin: pride. To be proud of who we are and the gifts that God has given us is a noble virtue. Any sincere prayer to God is a humble act and we need not fear the sin of pride. Continual prayer to God, his Mother, St Basil or any of the saints or holy person will guard us against the wickedness and snares of the evil one. It is also the surest sign of sanctification and steeps us in the gift of the Fear of the Lord, one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The below is taken from Relics found in the doctoral sources by Joan Carroll Cruz and presents a beautiful summary of St Benedict including some information about his twin? sister St Scholastica. Joan always writes inspiringly with great spiritual care and depths. She included original source information from two two doctors of the church, St Gregory the Great and St Bede the Venerable.
A True Follower of St Basil, St Benedict, Founder of Western Monasticism.
“The oldest account of the life of St. Benedict is that written by St. Gregory the Great in his second book of Dialogues. It is rather a character sketch of the saint illustrating primarily the miracles, rather than a chronological account of Benedict’s career. From the Dialogues we learn that Benedict was the son of a Roman noble of Norcia, a small town near Spoleto, and was born about the year 480. He was educated in Rome, but at the age of about 20 he feared contamination from the godlessness of his schoolmates who imitated the vices of their elders, and abandoned everything, even the prospect of a career as a Roman noble, and fled to the mountain some 30 miles from Rome. The saint first settled in a village named Enfide with his elderly servant. Here he worked his first miracle by restoring to perfect condition an earthenware wheat sifter that the servant had accidentally broken. The attention this miracle prompted drove Benedict still farther and higher into the mountains to a remote area known as Subiaco. On his way to this place he met the holy monk, Romanus, whose monastery was on a mountain overlooking a cave. Romanus gave Benedict a religious habit and indicated the cave where Benedict would find the isolation he desired. Romanus assisted Benedict in every way and even provided him with food by letting a basket down from the cliff above.
The saint lived in the cave for three years, until his virtues became known to a group of monks whose abbot had just died. Despite his objections they insisted that he rule over them, and he did so for a time until it soon became evident that Benedict’s strict notions of monastic discipline did not suite their laxity. They conspired against him and at last put poison in his wine. When the saint made the sign of the cross over the cup according to his custom, it broke into pieces. Reminding them of his warning that his ways and theirs would not be compatible, he left for Subiaco, not to seclusion, but to begin the work for which God had prepared him during his hermitage.
In an effort at ending the capricious rule of superiors in different families of monks who were dispersed in the monasteries of the region, and to control the license of their subjects, he envisioned a unification of the monastic system, united together by fraternal bonds in the exercise of regular observances. To this end he gathered all who would obey him and built 12 monasteries for them and his disciples. In each he placed a superior with 12 monks who followed the example of St Benedict’s virtues and deeds.
It is cited as a miracle that the saint eliminated the deeply rooted prejudice against manual work that was considered degrading, servile and a condition peculiar to slaves. The saint believed that labor was not only dignified, but a great disciplinary force for human nature, idleness being its ruin. He, therefore, made work compulsory for all who joined him community. The motto of the order has always been Ora et Labora
St Gregory, in his Dialogues, relates that a wayward priest in a neighboring village became envious of the increasing number of Benedict’s disciples and his growing influence, and made vile attempts at scandalizing Benedict and the monks. To prevent further persecution Benedict left Subiaco about the year 529 and turned toward Monte Cassino, whose lands had been given him by the father of a disciple. Here the inhabitants of the region where accustomed to offering sacrifices in a temple dedicated to Jupiter and Apollo. The saint overturned the altar, broke the idols and in their place erected two oratories that he dedicated to St. John the Baptist and St. Martin of Tours. As a result of generous donations, there gradually arose about this structure the great building Monte Casino, the most famous abbey the world has known.
Unlike the small monasteries Benedict had built at Subiaco, the saint now assembled his monks in one great establishment. It is almost certain that the saint at this time composed his famous Rule that prescribes a life of liturgical prayer, study and work, lived socially in a community under a common father.
Not merely content with overlooking the welfare of his brethren in the abbey, he likewise was solicitous for the population of the surrounding country. He cured their sick, relieved the distressed, distributed alms and food to the poor, and is said to have raised the dead on more than one occasion. He likewise read hearts, prophesied, bested the devil in several trials and once, through his prayers, was miraculously supplied with 200 sacks of flour during a time of need.
The year of the saint’s death is placed about the year 543. Just before he died we hear for the first time of his sister, Scholastica. St. Bede, among others, accepts the tradition that she was Benedict’s twin. It is also felt that she belonged to a community of nuns who were influenced by St Benedict and his Rule.
According to St. Gregory, Scholastica was visited by her brother once a year and met with him for the last time a few days before her death on a day “when the sky was so clear that no cloud was to be seen.” The sister begged her brother to stay longer,
“… but no persuasion would he agree unto saying that he might not by any means tarry all night out of his abbey. The nun, receiving this denial of her brother, joining her hands together, laid them upon the table, and so, bowing down her head upon them, she made her prayers to Almighty God, and lifting her head from the table there fell suddenly such a tempest of lightning and thundering and such abundance of rain that neither Venerable Benedict nor his monks that were with him could put their heads out the door.”-Taken from the Catholic Encyclopedia, Op. cit,.Vol.II p 471.
Three days later, Benedict beheld the soul of his sister in the form of a dove ascending to the heavens. The saint had the body of his sister brought to the abbey for burial in the grave he had provided for himself.
Six days before he died, he gave orders to have the sepulcher opened so that he might be buried with his sister,
”…and forthwith falling into an ague, he began with burning heat to wax faint, and when the sickness daily increased, upon the sixth day he commanded his monks to carry him into the oratory where he did arm himself by receiving the Body and Blood of Our Saviour Christ; and having his weak body holden up betwixt the hands of his disciples, he stood with his own hands lifted up to heaven; and as he was in that manner praying he gave up the ghost.”-Ibid.,VoII p.472.
The saint’s prophecy that Monte Cassino would be destroyed and then restored was realized four times, the first destruction taking place about the year 581 at the hands of the Lombards. Saracen hordes overtook and damaged it in 883, and in 1349 a violent earthquake razed it to the ground. It’s most complete destruction occurred on February 15, 1944, when it was bombarded during the Second World War. German forces and the Allies each blamed the other for the damage. The Germans, it seems, had occupied caves along the mountain and commanded a view of the countryside that enabled them to monitor the progress of the Allied forces, who were intent on reaching Rome. Repeated attacks against the Allies resulted in many deaths until it was thought best to destroy the abbey, where it was believed the German forces had established a headquarters. Much to the outrage of those who learned about it, the abbey was thoroughly damaged.
Faithfully and magnificently rebuilt with the financial aid of the Italian government, it is reminiscent of a motto on one of its coasts of arms Suica Virescit (Struck down it comes to new life).
During the aerial and land bombardment, the tomb of St. Benedict and St. Scholastica beneath the high altar of the church remained almost untouched. In 1950 they were submitted to canonical inspection and in 1955 were replaced in a richly decorated urn in the same niche under the main altar. To this tomb came Pope Paul VI on October 24, 1964, to preside over the consecration of the altar and the rebuilt church. Pope Paul again honored St. Benedict by visiting the Sacro Speco, the Sacred Cave at Subiaco, on September 8, 1971. The two churches that were built here above the cave of the saint are on atop the other and were likened to a swallow’ nest by Pope Pius II in 1461. The two churches and several chapels seem precariously assembled against the face of the mountain. In the lower church is the entrance to the Sacred Cave where Benedict lived for three years.
Monte Casino is not the only abbey to claim possession of the saint’s relics. Saint-Benoit-sur-Loire in Fleury, France, maintains that it had possession of the relics since the end of the sixth century when Monte Cassino was ravaged by the Lombards. Mommolus, the second abbot at Fleury, is said to have effected the transfer of the relics which brought great prestige to the abbey. French piety has always surrounded the relics at Fleury and even attracted St. Joan of Arc after the Battle of Orleans in 1429. A plaque in the church commemorates her visit.
Since claims at both Monte Cassino and St. Benoit that they possess the relics of the saint, and since the remains at Monte Cassino are incomplete, we can only assume that a portion was retained at St. Benoit at the time of the return of the relics to Monte Cassino. Each abbey, however, disputes the other’s claim.
At Benoit-sur-Loire the relics are kept in a reliquary that was designed and assembled in 1964 and kept in the crypt within a cluster of pillars that support the central portion of the church.
The reigning pontiff on March 23, 1980, visited “the cradle of the Benedictine Order,” Benedict’s hometown of Norcia, to participate in the 1,500 anniversary celebration of the saint’s birth.
The below web site contains comprehensive resources on our church, faith, the bible, saints, writings, apologetics, evangelization, family issues, links, and many pertinent services. This superior and highly organized web site (see Table of Content) is a most fascinating site with beautiful prayers, devotions, and really too much to enumerate. A truly universal catholic site.
Click on the below link to return to the home page.
Doctors of the Church