Prayers to St Benedict  

Posted by Joe Rawls

Benedict of Nursia (480-547) was the scion of a noble family who was sent to Rome for a good classical education. He was disgusted by the morally dubious behavior of many of his classmates (some things never change) and so he resolved to take up the life of a hermit. After a few years of this, his reputation for holiness had grown to the point where he was persuaded to become the abbott of a small nearby monastery. Unfortunately, these monks were just a bunch of slackers, and when Benedict had the gall to tell them to actually live like monks, they tried to poison him. From this inauspicious beginning, Benedict went on to establish more successful (and less homicidal) monasteries at Subiaco and Monte Cassino. He wrote his famous Rule for monastics during the last years of his life. Almost all of what we know about his life is found in the Dialogues of St Gregory the Great, incidentally one of the founders of the English church.

On today's feast of St Benedict I want to share a few prayers to him taken from the Roman, Anglican, and Orthodox traditions. We start with two Orthodox selections taken from the Menaion for the month of March, when they observe his feast. (a menaion is a service book containing variable prayers). A troparion is a stanza of a hymn or religious poem; a kontakion is a collect hymn or sung collect. Then we go to a prayer taken from The Online Guide to St Benedict, a Roman Catholic site. Finally we top things off with the collect for today found in the Episcopalian Lesser Feasts and Fasts.

Troparion tone 1
By your ascetical struggle, O Godbearing Benedict,
you proved true to your name.
For you were the son of benediction, and became a model and rule to all who emulate your life and cry:
Glory to Him who has strengthened you; glory to Him who has crowned you; glory to Him who through you works healings for all.

Kontakion tone 8
Like a sun of the Dayspring from on high
you enlightened the monks of the West and instructed them by word and deed.
By the sweat of these ascetical achievements
purge from the filth of passions us who honor you and cry: Rejoice O Father Benedict.

From The Online Guide to St Benedict
Lord, by your grace St Benedict became a great teacher in the school of your service. Grant that we may put nothing before our love of you, and may we walk eagerly in the path of your commandments. Through Jesus Christ...Amen.

From Lesser Feasts and Fasts
Almighty and everlasting God, your precepts are the wisdom of a loving Father: Give us grace, following the teaching and example of your servant Benedict, to walk with loving and willing hearts in the school of the Lord's service; let your ears be open to our prayers; and prosper with your blessing the work of our hands; through Jesus Christ our Lord...Amen.

This entry was posted on Friday, July 11, 2008 at Friday, July 11, 2008 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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