Daily Martyrology for May 19

In 988, at Canterbury, St. Dunstan, bishop and abbot. He was well educated and spent time at court. He decided to become a monk, but there were no longer any Benedictine monasteries in England. King Edmund gave him Glastonbury, an old monastic site. During a period in exile, he gained first-hand experience of the reformed version of Benedictine life at Ghent. He then became in quick succession bishop of Worcester, London and Canterbury. He collaborated with young King Edgar, and with two other Benedictine reformers: St. Oswald (February 29), who revived Westbury-on-Trym and later became a bishop, and St. Ethelwold (August 1), who refounded Abingdon and became bishop of Winchester. Under them there was a revival of Benedictine life and culture in England.

In 1296, St. Peter Celestine, pope. Peter joined the Benedictine monastery of Santa Maria di Faifula, but soon became a hermit. Around him there grew up a congregation of Benedictines, whose combination of cenobitic and solitary life resembled that of the Camaldolese. In 1293, when he was over 80, he returned to being a hermit. At 85 he was elected pope. Acknowledging his ineptitude, he soon resigned.

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Our daily martyrology was written by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB. Copyright © 2008 by the Monastery of the Ascension, Jerome, ID 83338.