By Christina Hermoso
Commemorative holy masses will be celebrated in many parts of the country today in solemn observance of the feast of the patriarch of Western monks – Saint Benedict, the venerated founder of the Benedictine Order.
A feast mass and a procession will be held at the St. Benedict Parish in Barangay Holy Spirit in Quezon City, while an institutional mass will be celebrated at the St. Scholastica’s College in Manila, St. Scholastica being the twin sister of St. Benedict. In many parts of the world, Benedictine communities will hold commemorative masses in honor of their revered patron.
St. Benedict was named as the patron and protector of Europe by Pope Paul VI in 1964. Church officials regard him as “a great missionary, a man of prayer, a spiritual director of souls, the epitome of humility, and a true servant of God.” The Italian saint founded several monasteries, the most famous of which is located in Monte Cassino, Italy, where he also wrote the Rule of the Benedictine Order. At one point, there were more than 40,000 monasteries worldwide guided by the Benedictine rule.
Guided by the golden rule “Ora et Labora,” which means pray and work, the Benedictines have, according to records, given the Church 50 Popes, 7,000 bishops, and 40,000 saints.