In 1964 Pope Paul VI declared St Benedict Patron Saint of Europe, with his Feast on 11th July. Traditionally, this is the date he was born. Pope Paul VI noted that St Benedict started a movement that had a profound effect on the Christianisation of Europe. Ealing Abbey and its parish are both dedicated to St Benedict. Therefore, this feast is doubly important for us, as the founder of western monasticism and as our patron. We prepare for the Feast of St Benedict with a novena. This is nine days of prayer and devotion in honour of St Benedict.
During the Novena, we remember a different saint each day. Apart from St Thomas, whose feast is during the novena, these are all Benedictine saints or (St Gregory) have a connection with Benedictines in England.
|2nd July||Ss Placid and Maurus|
|3rd July||St Thomas|
|4th July||St Bede|
|5th July||Ss John Roberts and Ambrose Barlow|
|6th July||St Benedict of Aniane|
|7th July||St Gregory the Great|
|8th July||St Augustine of Canterbury|
|9th July||St Benet Biscop|
|10th July||St Scholastica|
The novena leads up to the celebration of the Feast of St Benedict on 11th July.
St Benedict Week
As well as joining us as we prepare for the Feast of St Benedict with a novena, the Lay Community of St Benedict is also having a week of celebration centred on the 11th July. You can see details of the week here.
As we come to the end of the school year, you might want to consider that St Benedict described the monastery as a ‘school for the Lord’s service.’ If you have time away from work or study this summer, why not ask St Benedict to pray for you to serve God better.
Stir up in your Church, O Lord, that spirit to which Our Holy Father Benedict was ever faithful, so that, filled with the same spirit, we may strive to love what he loved and to practise what he taught. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.