Spirituality for Today – May 2011 – Volume 15, Issue 10

Saint of the Month
St. Benedict II, May 8

An image of Saint Benedict IISaint Benedict II

Born during the seventh century, Benedict was involved in the Church as a young boy. He attended a choir-school where he studied the Scriptures and sacred chant and grew into a distinguished scholar and singer. Benedict was ordained a priest, who generously and humbly served the poor.

After years of service, Benedict was elected pope in 683. But before he could begin, the emperor had to confirm the election, which had often left the Church without a consecrated leader for a period of time. Indeed, Benedict waited a frustrating 11 months. After he was finally consecrated, Benedict convinced Emperor Constantine IV to abolish the need for imperial confirmation and from then on to allow the Governor of Ravenna to confirm the Church's choice.

Benedict was an energetic pope who restored and improved many Roman churches. He also fought the Church's battle against monothelitism, a heresy that denied that Jesus had a human will. Benedict persuaded the Spanish bishops to sign a profession of faith that refuted the heresy and also tried to bring those who had supported the heresy back into the Church. Meanwhile, he continued to serve the needy.

Benedict had such a good relationship with Constantine after the emperor asked him to spiritually adopt his two young sons. Benedict also had a strong bond with his clergy. His distribution of gifts to them on Easter Sunday of 685 was his last official act as pope. He died soon after. Even though he was pope for less than two years, Benedict left a significant mark on the Church, and he is honored to this day as the patron of Europe.

Dear God,
You have offered us the gift of life
asking that we savor every breath
and exercise our talents to enrich the world.
Let us not waste a single moment
in selfish and worthless pursuit,
for how long we remain in this world is a mystery.
Teach us to make each moment count,
As your servant Benedict did,
while we await our eternal reward.

From Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives