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Monday, July 10, 2017

JPII Locates "Patron of Europe": St. Benedict of Nursia

T.S. Eliot lhad the European Continent in mind when he composed “The Wasteland”.  Georg Ratzinger[1] was present and on-site when the oldest monastery in the world, Monte Cassino, was destroyed by American artillery in World War II.  Much of the visible roots of Christian Europe were literally ‘uprooted’ by open warfare in the 20th century, including July 11th’s Saint’s final resting place, as I said regarding Monte Cassino.  Thankfully, new monastic life is taking root at the very site of Benedict of Nursia’s original monastery despite a few natural disasters[2].  As Patron of Europe, St. Benedict’s intercession is not limited to the post-war “Wasteland”, but can truly help to rejuvenate a “new springtime” in more ways than one (Lectio Divina, Ora et Labora, etc.)

St. John Paul II located Blessed Paul VI’s Apostolic Letter Pacis Nuntius of 1964 as the first time that St. Benedict was named “Patron of Europe”.  It’s no small title as JPII linked the Saint with the likes of Cyril and Methodius, the former of whom still has owns the secular right of claiming the Russian language under his namesake, Cyrilic.  Wojtyla writes:

The ever-living relevance of the eminent figures of Benedict, Cyril and Methodius, as concrete models and spiritual aids for the Christians of today, and especially for the nations of the continent of Europe, which, especially through the prayers and work of these saints, have long been consciously and originally rooted in the Church and in Christian tradition[3].    

These three saints launched never before seen waves of culture that still inspire hope and consolation in the midst of the “Wasteland”.  After all, once the Roman Empire fell, the dark ages posed a similar threat to today’s paganism and degeneration.  I’m reminded actually of the present day situation in inner city Detroit, a veritable “wasteland” that has hints a tremendous spiritual renewal with the latest “Unleash the Gospel” from Archbishop Vigneron[4]! 

Furthermore, St. Benedict’s legacy contributed immensely to Christian culture in the USA as well!  Abbot Boniface Wimmer brought the Benedictine Rule to Pennsylvania in the 19th century and founded the Archabbey of St. Vincent[5] where I have visited multiple times and learned Lectio Divina.  There are also Benedictine Universities across the country, some in need of renewal (especially in Minnesota) and some in excellent standing, like Wimmer’s own St. Vincent’s!

There is still much to be accomplished through the living and prophetic intercession of St. Benedict of Nursia all over the world.  St. John Paul II did well to emphasize patron of Europe in the letter of Paul VI, and Pope Emeritus Benedict was on the mark by choosing Benedict as his namesake.  Despite the wasteland, there is over generations of faithful in the land a guarantee of a new springtime in Europe.  

[1] http://www.ignatius.com/promotions/my-brother-the-pope/the-book.htm
[2] http://www.catholicworldreport.com/2017/03/10/echoes-of-st-benedict-as-norcia-monks-rebuild-after-earthquake/
[3] http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_19850602_slavorum-apostoli.html
[4] http://www.unleashthegospel.org/
[5] http://amcass.org/

1 comment:

Bai Macfarlane said...

Hi SAM, (I hope you have the option of rejecting comments that you judge as too long)

Because of your internet presence, I ask if I can take a minute to introduce myself and ask you to point others to our resources. I would write you an e-mail but I don't see any address for you.

With the non-profit organization Mary’s Advocates, I work to reduce unilateral no-fault divorce and support those who are unjustly abandoned. In unilateral no-fault divorce, those who control the split of everything, view marriage obligations in a way that is diametrically opposed to the Christian and Catholic understanding. In no-fault divorce, no distinction is made between the party who reneges on the marriage promises, and the party who is counting on those promises to be upheld.

The USCCB, National Catholic Register, Pewsitter, and LifeSite News have publicized our work. I presented a paper in Rome at a symposium with welcome letter by Cardinal Raymond Burke. Relevant Radio and Ave Maria Radio have had me as a guest on their shows. I was on ETWN radio with Jerry Usher.

Resource: Wedding and Renewal of Vows

Mary’s Advocates developed a “True Marriage Proclamation Set.” With a “True Marriage Proclamation Set,” a man and woman sign their wedding vows as a keepsake, and designate a 3rd-party arbitrator to manage any marital issues in accordance with the Catholic Code of Canon Law, or the Bible. They never want unilateral no-fault divorce in their future.

The “True Marriage Proclamation Set” was reviewed by Fr. Rocky Hoffman, who has a doctorate in Canon Law from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome. He’s also the Executive Director of Relevant Radio and he says, “All pastors recognize the need for better preparation for the sacrament of Marriage. The ‘True marriage Proclamation Set’ can be a powerful tool to help spouses deeply consider what they are doing in the presence of God.”

Resource: Upholding Marriage in Crisis

For Catholics who did nothing gravely wrong justifying separation of spouses (who are about to be involuntarily separated, or already divorced), Mary’s Advocates shows them how to ask the Church to implement the canon law on separation of spouses. The canons aim toward outcomes that are in accordance with Divine Law, natural law, and true justice (See Resources > Defending Marriage). We publicize the Catholic Canon Law and excerpts from the U.S. Constitution that can be implemented to reduce the injustice of unilateral no-fault divorce. This could ultimately inspire a spouse to reconcile, because an abandoner would be held accountable.

The secular world tells a separated spouse, or a divorce Defendant, that his marriage has failed or ended. Mary’s Advocates’ support network is for those who reject this secular view, but, instead, hope to be reconciled and know a marriage only ends when either party dies.

Sincerely Yours in Christ,


P.S. In my review of the book, Torn Asunder: Children, the Myth of the Good Divorce, and the Recovery of Origins, I highlight the harm caused to children by divorce. This information could lead someone wanting a divorce to change his or her mind.

Bai Macfarlane
Mary’s Advocates
2721 Wagar Road, Rocky River OH 44116