Some forty-five miles from Rome, at Subiaco, Saint Benedict began his monastic journey around the year 500. His life as a hermit eventually blossomed into a community, then many communities, that to the present follow the “Rule for Monasteries,” composed by Saint Benedict.
Today, on every inhabited continent of the world (which means, not on Antarctica), men and women, young and old, “seek God” according to the Benedictine way, as monks and nuns, oblates and those with less formal connections to our monasteries.
Christ is the Desert is among the “younger” monasteries in the world, founded nearly sixty years ago, which will be celebrated next June 24th.
Only one of the original founders of Christ in the Desert is still alive, now as a retired priest in the Bay Area of California. The rest of our founders, and a number of monks that followed them, have reached the end of their earthy sojourn. May the angels lead them all into Paradise!
November is traditionally the month of praying for all faithful departed. On November 13th we recount the death in 1984 of our Founder and first Prior, Father Aelred Wall. Next year will be the fortieth anniversary of his death and we continue to be deeply grateful for his zeal and the efforts he took in beginning this monastery.
At this time we remember in prayer all who have gone before us “marked with the sign of faith,” as the Catholic Liturgy expresses this truth.
Today’s photo was taken in the tiny cave at Subiaco where the youthful Benedict dwelt for some three years. The marble sculpture depicts Benedict in prayer inside the “Sacro Speco,” the holy cave. Saint Benedict, pray for us.
Abbot Christian and the monks