Rev. Peter M.J. Stravinskas: The Original Vision and Attraction of Saint Benedict

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Detail from "Life of St Benedict, Scene 7. Benedict Instructs the Peasants" (1505-08) by Il Sodoma []

Benedict’s dream of communities of holy men became the motive force for a Christendom to replace the corrupt and desiccated old Rome.

Rev. Peter M.J. Stravinskas, Catholic World Report, July 11, 2021

Reverend Peter M.J. Stravinskas is the editor of the The Catholic Response, and the author of over 500 articles for numerous Catholic publications, as well as several books, including The Catholic Church and the Bible and Understanding the Sacraments.

(Editor’s note: This homily was preached on July 11, 2019, the memorial of St. Benedict, at the Church of the Holy Innocents, New York City, and posted that same day at CWR.)


St. Benedict is honored today in the revised Roman calendar, while his feast is kept on March 21 (the date of his death) in the earlier calendar and among Benedictines, who also keep this date as a minor observance for the transfer of his relics. The principal reason for the change in the general calendar seems to have been to avoid the problem of the feast’s eclipse due to its frequent occurrence during Lent.

Not much is known about the early life of Benedict, except that he was probably born around 480 in the town of Norcia, Italy. Coming from a well-to-do family, he was sent to Rome as a youth to further his education. …

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