Novena to St. Benedict – Day Eight – The Apostle

Today’s iteration of the novena is dedicated to all who have expressed skepticism or concern over what is perceived to be a “withdrawl” from society in the recent discussions of Rod Dreher’s Benedict Option.  Please note the paradox at work in the fact that St. Benedict did make a profound withdrawl from society, but yet still had a monumental impact on his Church and culture.  That’s what the Benedict Option is all about!


O Lord, our Life and Truth and Way,
Direct us lest we go astray,
May we with apostolic zeal
Go forth, the wounds of strife to heal.

Lord God, we pray that we may climb
With Benedict to heights sublime;
His rule our guide, its goal our aim:
Return to you from whom we came.

All praise to God the Father be,
To you His Son, eternally,
With equal glory, as is meet,
To God the holy Paraclete.

ANTIPHON: Those who offered him food for his body received in return from his lips the Word of God, the food of life.

PSALM 18:1-7. The Good News of God.

The heavens declare your glory, Lord, * the skies proclaim your handiwork;

The sun gives forth its light to day, / each day pours out the word to day; * the moon and stars give light to night, / each night imparts the news to night;No sound, no speech, no word is heard, / and yet their voice is clearly heard; * throughout the world their voice resounds, / proclaims the glory of the Lord, / to farthest bounds of all the earth.

And in the sky the Lord has set / a tabernacle for the sun, * which, like a groom in fine array, / or like a giant in the race, / appearing at the dawn of day, / comes forth with joy to run its course, / to shed its heat and light on all.

At close of day, it course now run, / far in the west, with bright display, * into its tent it goes again, / all through the night to rest again.

ANTIPHON: Those who offered him food for his body received in return from his lips the Word of God, the food of life.


When the man of God arrived at the summit of Monte Cassino, he found an old temple there dedicated to Apollo, where the people of the vicinity still carried on their pagan worship, as their ancestors had done. Going to the temple, the man of God destroyed the status of Apollo, overturned the alter, and cut down the trees of the nearby sacred groves. He then converted the temple of Apollo into a chapel dedicated to St. Martin of Tours. Where the alter of Apollo had stood, he built a chapel in honor of St. John the Baptist. Finally, by his zealous preaching and instruction, he gradually won the people of the countryside over to the true faith.

R. Thanks be to God.

V. Faith comes from what is heard.
R. And what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ.


Let us pray.  Lord God, it is your will that the whole world look to you for salvation and deliverance from the slavery of sin.  Grant us a sense of mission, such as St. Benedict had, and fill us with an apostolic spirit that we may, by the example of our life, help to draw others to you.  This we ask of you through Christ our Lord

R. Amen.


V. Pray for us, holy Father Benedict.
R. That we may obtain the grace of a happy death.

Holy Father Benedict, * Blessed by God in grace and in name, * while standing in prayer with your hands raised to heaven, * you most happily yielded your angelic spirit into the hands of your Creator. You promised zealously to defend against the snares of the enemy, * in the last struggle of death, * those who shall daily remind you * of your glorious departure and your heavenly joys. Protect us therefore * this day and every day by your holy blessing, * that we may never be separated from our blessed Lord, * from the company of yourself and all the blessed. We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.