St. Isidore the Farmer

515isidore10It is a misfortune which deserves to be lamented with floods of tears, the ignorance, obstinacy, and vice should so often taint a country life, the state which of all others is most necessary and important to the world; the most conformable to a human condition and to nature, the state which was sanctified by the example of the primitive holy patriarchs, and which affords the most favorable opportunities for the perfect practice of every virtue and Christian duty. What advantageous helps to piety did the ancient hermits seek in the deserts, which the circumstances of a country laborer do not offer? The life of St. Isidore is a most sensible proof of this assertion. Continue reading

St. Benedict

st-benedictThe son of a member of the Roman nobility, he was born at Nursia, near Spoleto, about the year 480. While still quite young, he left Rome, giving up his studies and career in the world and retired to a place called Subiaco, where he lived as a hermit, receiving the monastic habit from Romanus, monk of a neighboring monastery. After three years of eremitical life, was made abbot of Vicovaro, but the monks, finding his way of life too strict, strove to poison him. He left them and founded, first, twelve monasteries at Subiaco, and later the great Abbey of Monte Cassino where he wrote the Holy Rule. He died in 543. Continue reading

St. Cuthbert

cuthbert-praying-copyWhen the Northumbrians, under the pious king Oswald, had, with great fervor, embraced the Christian faith, the holy bishop St. Aidan founded two monasteries, that of Mailros, on the bank of the Tweed, and another in the isle of Lindisfarne, afterwards called Holy Island, four miles distant from Berwick. In both he established the rule of St. Columba; and usually resided himself in the latter. St. Cuthbert was born not very far from Mailros, and in his youth was much edified by the devout deportment of the holy inhabitants of that house, whose fervor in the service of God, and the discharge of the duties of a monastic life, he piously endeavored to imitate on the mountains where he kept his father”s sheep. Continue reading