Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 16 June – The Memorial of St Benno of Meissen (1010-1106)

Thought for the Day – 16 June – The Memorial of St Benno of Meissen (1010-1106)

Saint Benno lived during a difficult political time and managed—despite threat, imprisonment and punishment—to remain true to the teachings of the Church and his role as priest and bishop, servant of his people.
At a time when the Church is criticised and attacked from both the inside and outside, we look to saints like St Benno as inspiration.   His witness provides example to each of us, inspiring fidelity to our Holy Father and to the Magisterium, in all things and truth, even when these are the “hard decisions” to make.

St Benno, Pray for us!st benno of meissen pray for us no 2 - 16 june 2018

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 16 June – Saturday of the Tenth week in Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel Matthew 5:33-37

One Minute Reflection – 16 June – Saturday of the Tenth week in Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel Matthew 5:33-37

“Again you have heard that it was said to the men of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.”…Matthew 5:33-37

REFLECTION – “Again the Law says: “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,” (Ex 21:24) but Our Lord admonishes us not only to bear patiently the blows of one who strikes us but humbly to turn to him the other cheek. (Mt 5:39)   And so the object of the Law is to teach us not to do to others what we do not wish to suffer and, therefore, it cuts away our wrong-doing, through our fear of suffering.   But now the object must be, to cast away our hatred, our love of pleasure, our vainglory and the rest of our unruly desires.
I repeat that the aim of Christ, our Master, is precisely to teach us how we come to commit all our sins; how we fall into evils.   First He sets us free, through holy baptism, giving us the forgiveness of our sins, then He gives us the power to do good, if we desire it and no longer to be dragged down into sin, so to speak, by force.”…St Dorotheus of Gaza (c 500-c 565), monk in Palestine – Instructions, no. 1, 6-8 ; SC 92but i say to you matthew 5 34 - but now the object must be - st dorotheus of gaza - 16 june 2018

PRAYER – True Light of the world, Lord Jesus Christ, as You enlighten all men for their salvation, give us Your grace, we pray to herald Your coming by preparing the ways of justice and of peace.   Grant, that St Benno of Meissen, who has gone before us, may by his prayers intercede for us all.   We pray to You Lord Jesus, Who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God forever, benno pray for us - 16 june 2018.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 16 June – St Benno (1010-1106)

Saint of the Day – 16 June – St Benno (1010-1106) Confessor and Bishop of Meissen – born in  1010 at Hildesheim, Germany – died on 16 June 1106 of natural causes – also known as Benedict.  Patronages –  anglers, fishermen, weavers, diocese of Dresden-Meissen, Germany and  Munich, Germany.

Saint Benno worked throughout his long life to reform the Church, supported the legitimacy of the Pope at a time when the papacy was being politically attacked, suffered persecution and exile and worked numerous miracles.   Saint Benno remains one of the most venerated saints throughout Germany.benno - lg 864px-Johann_Michael_Rottmayr_001

Benno was born to a noble family in Saxony (modern day Germany) and was educated from a young age by the monks of the abbey of Saint Michael.   He was ordained a priest, and eventually, at the age of 56 became Bishop of Meissen.   Soon thereafter, he was appointed Canon to the imperial chapel of Emperor Henry III, a pious ruler who looked to the Church for guidance in political matters.   Upon his death, Henry IV ascended to the throne, at the young age of sixteen.   Unlike his predecessor, he sought to subjugate the Church to the state and restrict the legitimacy of the papacy throughout Germany.BENNO

However, at that time, one of the greatest of the Church’s popes, Pope Gregory VII, sat on the Chair of Peter and wished for nothing more than to preserve the role of the Pope in investing bishops—that is, providing bishops with the symbols of their holy office, signifying their marriage to the Church.   This “Investiture Contest” spread throughout Europe and many bishops sided with the political leaders of their regions, rather than the Pope.   However, Saint Benno stood alongside Pope Gregory VII, against the Emperor, instituting the reforms of the Church and maintaining the divine duties of the Pope.   For his trouble, he was imprisoned and exiled for many years.

One of the most famous legends told of Saint Benno involves his barring the emperor from receiving the Holy Eucharist following his excommunication (the Pope had excommunicated Henry IV, due to his decisions to challenge the Church’s legitimate authority to invest bishops).   Henry, however, hoped that the German bishops would take no notice of this `excommunication’ and rode to Meissen—to the cathedral served by Saint Benno—to receive the Eucharist.   Saint Benno realised that there was nothing he could do to keep the emperor out, save barring the cathedral to everyone.   So that is what he did.   He locked the cathedral doors and threw the keys into the river Elbe. Henry knew that if he attempted to break down the doors to the cathedral, he would anger the crowds gathered, so simply rode away vowing vengeance on the holy bishop.616benno9

After he had gone, Saint Benno ordered the local fisherman to cast their nets into the Elbe and after praying over the water, they hauled in their nets.   In the net was a fish that had the keys to the cathedral hanging upon its fins.   Benno retrieved the key and reopened the cathedral.   It was not soon thereafter that he was both imprisoned and exiled, although would not stray from the teachings of the Church, even under threat of punishment.

Saint Benno lived to be a very old man and spent the last years of his life preaching the faith to those who had not yet converted.   He never lost sight of his calling as a diocesan bishop, visiting and preaching at all the parishes in his diocese, celebrating the Mass, enforcing discipline and enacting reform amongst the clergy and building many grand cathedrals for the glory of the Lord.   An accomplished musician, Saint Benno encouraged music and chanting during Masses throughout the diocese, penned many hymns and wrote extensively on the Gospels.


Following his death, at the age of nearly one hundred, Saint Benno was buried in the cathedral at Meissen.   When the cathedral was rebuilt in 1285, his relics were translated to the new cathedra, and many miraculous cures were reported at that time.   His relics were later translated to Munich in 1580 and Saint Benno remains the patron saint of that city today.