Novena to St Benedict: Day 1 (March 12): St Benedict of Norcia

Here is the novena prayer to St Benedict:

"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."

About St Benedict...

St Benedict and his twin sister St Scholastica were born in the Italian town of Norcia, near Rome, in 480 AD.  The present-day Church, whose crypt dates back to this era, is pictured above.

St Gregory the Great relates that he was a serious young man of noble birth, who was sent to Rome, as was the norm, to receive a classical education:

"There was a man of venerable life, blessed by grace, and blessed in name, for he was called "Benedictus" or Benedict: who, from his younger years, carried always the mind of an old man; for his age was inferior to his virtue: all vain pleasure he contemned, and though he were in the world, and might freely have enjoyed such commodities as it yieldeth, yet did he nothing esteem it, nor the vanities thereof. He was born in the province of Nursia, of honourable parentage, and brought up at Rome in the study of humanity." (from the translation of the Dialogues, Book II, by Edmund G. Gardner)

These days Norcia is of course, the home of the excellent, rapidly growing international community, the Monks of San Benedetto, led by Prior Cassian.

And you can read the next part in this series on the Life of St Benedict for the Novena here.

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