The German Benedictine nun, Gertrude of Helfta, now known as Saint Gertrude the Great, who lived from 1256 to 1302, once made a very insightful observation about Benedictines.
One day in contemplation, Gertrude considered Saint Benedict and his followers under the symbol of a rose garden all in bloom. First, she pointed out, buds begin to sprout in Springtime, around the Feast of Saint Benedict, which occurs each year on March 21th, the first day of Spring.
With the passing of months the buds continue to grow, multiplying silently and eventually blooming gloriously in the height of Summer, as they always do in the Northern Hemisphere.
When this takes place, it seemed to Gertrude, the rose garden becomes an immense bunch of roses, bringing joy to Heaven and surrounding Holy Father Benedict with tremendous glory.
In other words, the Benedictine family spread throughout the world glorifies the Lord, having given Heaven many saints and blesseds over the centuries. Some have watered the garden by the shedding of their blood as martyrs. Other Benedictine saints were popes, and others scholars or simple monks and nuns.
Hopefully “all of us Benedictines” strive to give glory to God by our life of worship and work.
Today’s photo is of the symbolic “Benedictine roses” in our cloister garden.
Come be our guests when you can. Bienvenidos.
Abbot Christian and the monks