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CHRONOLOGY

OF THE

LIFE OF THE MOST HOLY PATRIARCH

SAINT BENEDICT

(from Haften’s Disgnis. Monast.)

“His memory shall not depart away; and his Name shall be in request from generation to generation.” (Ecclus. 39)

(The figures in parenthesis denote the age of St. Benedict.)

YEAR.

480. (—) St. Benedict and his twin-sister St. Scholastica are born in Nursia, a town in the south of Italy: their Father, Anicius Eupropius: their Mother, Abundantia.

487. (7.) St; Benedict is sent to Rome to study, his nurse Cyrilla accompanies him.

493. (13.) God, calling him to higher things, and the dangers of the world prompting him to leave it, he quits Rome to seek salvation and perfection in solitude. On their way in a little village, 30 miles from Rome, he works a miracle to console Cyrilla.

494. (14.) He leaves Cyrilla and goes alone to Subiaco, a mountainous district, 40 miles distant from Rome: meets a holy Hermit named Romanus, from whom he asks and receives the Religious Habit: then going into a little Cave amidst the rocks, dwells there in union with his God in prayer, unknown to all, excepting St. Romanus who brought him food.

497. (17.) On the Easter Sunday of this year, a Priest receives a command from God to visit this Cave, and honour the youthful hermit.

Some neighbouring Shepherds discover the Saint.

He gains the noble victory over the spirit of impurity and placing the lily of his Chastity amidst thorns and nettles, he secures it against every temptation for the remainder of his life.

509. (29.) His sanctity becoming noised abroad many men leave the world, and put themselves under his spiritual guidance.

510. (30.) After frequent refusals he, at last, yields to the request of the Monks of Vico-Varro, who besought him to become their Abbot. As he had foretold them they grew angry at his corrections: they seek to poison him: he returns to his dear solitude of Subiaco.

St. Maurus is born.

511. (31.) During the next 19 years St. Benedict builds 12 monasteries on the Subiaco mountains.

515. (35.) St Placid is born.

522. (42.) Sts. Maurus and Placid are brought to Subiaco by their Parents, and receive from St. Benedict the Monastic Habit.

523. (43.) St. Maurus in obedience to St. Benedict walks on the waters of the lake, into which St. Placid had fallen, and saves him from being drowned.

529. (49.) St. Benedict leaves Subiaco, and goes to Mount Cassino (about 50 miles south of Subiaco).

530. (50.) He begins to build the Monastery of Mount Cassino.

536. (56.) He sends St. Placid into Sicily.

St. Benedict has the mysterious vision, in which God grants him the sight of the whole world, brought together in one ray of the sun.

537. (57.) St. Placid begins the Monastery at Messina in Sicily: he finishes it in 4 years.

539. (59.) During a famine St. Benedict distributes to the poor all the corn of the Monastery: on the following day he receives from Heaven, in return, 200 bushels of flour.

In hatred of Disobedience and out of love for Charity he works the miracle of the glass oil-jar.

Whilst he is at prayer with some of his Brethren, an empty vessel which was in the room is miraculously filled with oil, even to over-flowing.

541. (61.) St. Placid is martyred (probably in this year).

543. (63.) King Totila the Barbarian visits St. Benedict: receives his paternal reproach and prophecy.

On the 10th of January, St. Benedict sends St. Maurus into France.

On the 6th of February he has the last conference with his sister St. Scholastica.

On the 10th of February, he sees the soul of his Sister, St. Scholastica, ascending to heaven under the form of a Dove.

On the 16th of March, knowing that the hour of his Death is near he orders his grave to be opened.

On the 21st of March at 3 o’clock in the morning, standing in the chapel of his Monastery of Mount Cassino, supported by his Religious, he dies, in the 63rd year of his age.

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