his “vision of peace” is not utopian

his “vision of peace” is not utopian
his “vision of peace” is not utopian

Although the Rule of St. Benedict [“ora et labora”, prier et travailler] does not contain an appeal on the theme of peace, “it is an excellent guide for a conscious and practical commitment to peace.” Indeed, its message goes beyond the walls of monasteries and shows “how human coexistence, with the grace of God, can overcome the dangers arising from disputes and discord.”

This was stated by the Pope in a message addressed to participants in an ecumenical symposium at the Benedictine abbey of Pannonhalma in western Hungary in September 2023, which highlighted two other ideas.

The first is that the patron saint of Europe knew “the complexity of linguistic, ethnic and cultural traces, which represent both a wealth and a potential for conflict”. However, he had a serene and peaceful vision, because he was fully convinced of “the equal dignity and equal value of all human beings”. This applies in particular to foreigners, who must be welcomed according to the principle of “honouring all men”.

Pope Francis: “The search for peace without delay.”

This also means “knowing how to take the first step in certain difficult situations”, because “discord must not become a permanent state”. Establishing peace “before sunset”, said Saint Benedict. This, the Pope recalls, is “the measure of the availability of the desire for peace”.

And the second, the Holy Father stressed, is that “the search for peace in justice cannot tolerate any delay, it must be pursued without hesitation.” “Saint Benedict’s vision of peace is not utopian, but oriented towards a path that God’s friendship with humanity has already traced and which, however, must be traveled step by step by each individual and by the community.”

The Hungarian ecumenical event addressed many aspects of the theme of peace, at a time when “globalized humanity is wounded and threatened by a progressive world war which, waged directly in certain regions of the planet, has consequences that harm the lives of all, especially the poorest,” the pontiff said according to the official Vatican agency, and when “the war in Ukraine has dramatically called us to open our eyes and hearts to many people who suffer because of war.”

Saint Paul VI called him “pacis nuntius” (herald of peace).

I believe that St. Benedict, called “pacis nuntius” (herald of peace) by Pope Paul VI when he was proclaimed patron saint of Europe, would address us with this word: peace! It is not an obvious word, it is not an abstract concept, but a truth to pursue and live,” he said. Mr. Fabrizio MessinaDirector of the National Library of the National Monument of Santa Scholastica [sœur jumelle de Saint-Benoît].

A library that owes its origins to saint Benito, because it is indeed the library of the monastery of Santa Scholastica of Subiaco, one of the twelve monasteries founded near the city, in the Aniene valley, by Saint Benedict himself.

“The peace that Benedict brings us is the peace of Christ. It is the peace for which Christ gave his life. If we do not open our doors to Christ, we will remain without peace,” added Don Fabrizio Messina to the Vatican Agency, which asked him how it is possible, in the current European scenario devastated by the war in Ukraine, to travel paths of peace in the footsteps of Saint Benedict.

For Ukraine, for Russia…

The response of the library director was as follows. First of all, the historical fact: “Saint Benedict, when he began his personal search for God, did so by going to Subiaco and seeking the Lord. This is what happens to him in a first experience as a hermit. As Saint Gregory the Great reminds us, Benedict lives alone with himself under the gaze of God. It is a search for God which is, consequently, a search for peace.”

The illustrious Benedictine continued in these terms. “The true search for peace for Europe, for Ukraine, for Russia and for all the countries involved in this senseless massacre consists precisely in finding in Christ the source of peace, of light. As Saint Benedict did. A peace that is not only intimate, but personal. But a peace that can truly be given to others because it is the peace of Christ. He himself said it: ‘I leave you my peace’, not the one that the world gives.

Benedict XVI: “Europe was born from its spiritual leaven.”

On April 9, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI addressed the faithful of St. Benedict of Nursia in a speech delivered at the Church of St. Benedict of Nursia. General audience. He began by saying. “Today I will speak of St. Benedict, founder of Western monasticism and patron of my pontificate. I begin by quoting a phrase from St. Gregory the Great who, speaking of St. Benedict, said: ‘This man of God, who shone on this earth with so many miracles, shone no less by the eloquence with which he was able to expound his doctrine.

“The great pope [saint Grégoire le Grand] wrote these words in 592; the holy monk had died fifty years earlier and remained alive in the memory of the people and especially in the flourishing religious order he had founded. Saint Benedict of Nursia, by his life and work, exercised a fundamental influence on the development of European civilization and culture.”

Continuing the story, Benedict XVI added: “The work of the saint, and in particular his ‘Rule’, is a very important part of the life and work of the saint., were a true spiritual leaven that changed, over the centuries, far beyond the limits of their homeland and their time, the face of Europe, giving birth, after the fall of the political unity created by the Roman Empire, to a new spiritual and cultural unity, that of the Christian faith shared by the peoples of the continent. This is how the reality we call “Europe” was born.

Years before, in 1999, St. John Paul II had written a letter to the Abbot of Subiaco, in which he expressed his joy at learning that “the great Benedictine monastic family wishes to remember with special celebrations the 1500 years since St. Benedict began in Subiaco the “schola dominici servitii”, which would lead, over the centuries, countless men and women, “per ducatum Evangelii”, to a more intimate union with Christ”.

The Heroic Virtues of Robert Schumann

On July 11, 2021, Pope Francis, hospitalized at Gemelli, remembered Saint Benedict on social media: “Today we celebrate the feast of Saint Benedict, abbot and patron saint of Europe. A hug to our protector! We congratulate the Benedictines of the whole world.” In addition, the Holy Father sent his “best wishes to Europe” so that it “may be united in its founding values.”

A few weeks earlier, in June, the Pope had recognized the heroic virtues of the French politician and founding father of the European Union, Robert Schuman, by declaring him venerable. On that occasion, the priest Bernard Ardura, promoter of Schuman’s cause, had given an address on the anniversary of Robert Schuman’s birth. interview with Omnes on his canonization process.

“Europe must cease to be a battlefield where rival forces bleed to death,” Schumann said in a speech. “On the basis of this awareness, for which we have paid so dearly, we want to take new paths that will lead us to a united and definitively pacified Europe,” words considered vital for the reconciliation of France and Germany.

The authorFrancisco Otamendi



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