ALL POSTS TAGGED: BENEDICTINE



There are several saints who have the words “the great” after their names, but St. Gertrude the Great is the only female to have that honor.


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In the year 1020, a boy named Hildebrand Bonizi was born in Tuscany, Italy. He was educated for the priesthood in Rome and was chosen by Pope Gregory VI to be his personal chaplain. After the pope died, Hildebrand entered a monastery to pray and study. But within three years, he was called back to Rome to be an advisor to the newly elected Pope Leo IX. In all, he counseled seven popes. Then he himself was elected Holy Father in 1073 at the demand of priests and the people. He chose the name Gregory VII.


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In the 14th century, a number of English men and women withdrew from the world. They lived alone as hermits, or anchorites. Their hermitage, or cell, was a small room attached to a local church. Each room had two windows. One pierced the church wall. Through this window, the anchorite received communion. Through the second window, the anchorite received food brought to him or her by village people.


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Anselm’s desire to become a monk led him from his childhood home in Italy to a famous Benedictine monastery in France. He studied the great writers of the Church, including St. Augustine, and spent much of his time teaching and writing important books that explained some of the deepest mysteries of our faith. It is believed that Anselm gave us the term “theology” and defined it as “faith that is seeking to understand.” Anselm was also elected head of the monastery by his brother monks.
 


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