St Benedict Novena Day 1 (March 12): The monks of Norcia, Italy


Fresco from St Benedict's, Norcia
As flagged yesterday, today is the day to start your Novena to St Benedict! You can find the novena prayer below.

I also invite you to join me through this novena in praying for the restoration of traditional Benedictine religious life, and to that end, want to highlight a few monasteries of particular interest.

And what better place to start than the birthplace of St Benedict himself, where a relatively new foundation of American monks are working for the restoration of monastic life there.

Monastery of St Benedict, Norcia

The monks of Norcia will be familiar to many readers of this blog because of their wonderful service in making their daily EF Mass, Lauds, Vespers and more available online.

This is a monastery that is growing quickly, but needs your help!

First, their Prior, Fr Cassian Folsom who was chosen as Inside the Vatican Magazine's person of the year for 2011, has unfortunately suffered a relapse in the cancer that had been in abeyance since treatment a few years back. Please pray for his recovery.

Secondly, they need help meeting the everyday expenses of the monastery, and their site gives you a number of options to make donations, depending on where you live.

Thirdly, they have purchased a ruined sixteenth century Capuchin Monastery as the site for their future monastery as they expand beyond their current accommodations, and need help to restore and build!

And to learn more about them, do watch the excellent video recently made about them posted below.

The St Benedict Novena Prayer (and the special intention)

O glorious St. Benedict, sublime model of all virtues, pure vessel of God's grace! Behold me, humbly kneeling at thy feet. I implore thy loving heart to pray for me before the throne of God. To thee I have recourse in all the dangers which daily surround me. Shield me against my enemies, inspire me to imitate thee in all things. May thy blessing be with me always, so that I may shun whatever God forbids and avoid the occasions of sin.

Graciously obtain for me from God those favors and graces of which I stand so much in need, in the trials, miseries and afflictions of life. Thy heart was always so full of love, compassion, and mercy toward those who were afflicted or troubled in any way. Thou didst never dismiss without consolation and assistance anyone who had recourse to thee. I therefore invoke thy powerful intercession, in the confident hope that thou wilt hear my prayers and obtain for me the special grace and favor I so earnestly implore (mention your intentions here), if it be for the greater glory of God and the welfare of my soul.

Help me, O great St. Benedict, to live and die as a faithful child of God, to be ever submissive to His holy will, and to attain the eternal happiness of heaven. Amen.

[For the special intention (Magnificat antiphon of the feast): O pattern of heavenly life, our guide and teacher Benedict, whose soul is now rejoicing with Christ in heaven: protect thy flock, dear shepherd, and by thy holy prayer support them; and with thyself as leader showing that brightened way, make them enter the heavens.]

And if you would like to read more about the saint himself, please do take a look at my previous novena series on the saint.




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