A saint is a person, recognized as having an exceptional degree of holiness or likeness or closeness to God. However, the use of the term "saint" depends on the denomination. In Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Lutheran doctrine, all of their faithful deceased in Heaven are considered to be saints, but some are considered worthy of greater honor or emulation. While the English word saint originated in Christianity, historians of religion now use the appellation "in a more general way to refer to the state of special holiness that many religions attribute to certain people", with the Jewish tzadik, the Islamic walī, the Hindu rishi or Sikh guru, the Buddhist arhat or bodhisattva being referred to as saints. Depending on the religion, saints are recognized either by official ecclesiastical declaration, as in the Catholic faith, or by popular acclamation; the English word "saint" comes from the Latin "sanctus". The word translated in Greek is "ἅγιος", which means "holy"; the word ἅγιος appears 229 times in the Greek New Testament, its English translation 60 times in the corresponding text of the King James Version of the Bible.
The word sanctus was a technical one in ancient Roman religion, but due to its "globalized" use in Christianity the modern word "saint" in English and its equivalent in Romance languages is now used as a translation of comparable terms for persons "worthy of veneration for their holiness or sanctity" in other religions. Many religions use similar concepts to venerate persons worthy of some honor. Author John A. Coleman S. J. of the Graduate Theological Union, California wrote that saints across various cultures and religions have the following family resemblances: exemplary model extraordinary teacher wonder worker or source of benevolent power intercessor a life refusing material attachments or comforts possession of a special and revelatory relation to the holy. The anthropologist Lawrence Babb in an article about Sathya Sai Baba asks the question "Who is a saint?", responds by saying that in the symbolic infrastructure of some religions, there is the image of a certain extraordinary spiritual king's "miraculous powers", to whom a certain moral presence is attributed.
These saintly figures, he asserts, are "the focal points of spiritual force-fields". They exert "powerful attractive influence on followers but touch the inner lives of others in transforming ways as well". According to the Catholic Church, a "saint" is anyone in Heaven, whether recognized on Earth or not, who form the "great cloud of witnesses"; these "may include our own mothers, grandmothers or other loved ones" who may have not always lived perfect lives but "amid their faults and failings they kept moving forward and proved pleasing to the Lord". The title "Saint" denotes a person, formally canonized, authoritatively declared a saint, by the Church as holder of the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, is therefore believed to be in Heaven by the grace of God. There are many persons that the Church believes to be in Heaven who have not been formally canonized and who are otherwise titled "saints" because of the fame of their holiness. Sometimes the word "saint" denotes living Christians. In his book Saint of the Day, editor Leonard Foley, OFM says this: the " surrender to God's love was so generous an approach to the total surrender of Jesus that the Church recognizes them as heroes and heroines worthy to be held up for our inspiration.
They remind us that the Church is holy, can never stop being holy and is called to show the holiness of God by living the life of Christ."The Catholic Church teaches that it does not "make" or "create" saints, but rather recognizes them. Proofs of heroicity required in the process of beatification will serve to illustrate in detail the general principles exposed above upon proof of their "holiness" or likeness to God. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church Chapter 2, Article 1, 61, "The patriarchs and certain other Old Testament figures have been and always will be honored as saints in all the church's liturgical traditions." On 3 January 993, Pope John XV became the first pope to proclaim a person a "saint" from outside the diocese of Rome: on the petition of the German ruler, he had canonized Bishop Ulrich of Augsburg. Before that time, the popular "cults", or venerations, of saints had been local and spontaneous and were confirmed by the local bishop. Pope John XVIII subsequently permitted a cult of five Polish martyrs.
Pope Benedict VIII declared the Armenian hermit Symeon to be a saint, but it was not until the pontificate of Pope Innocent III that the Popes reserved to themselves the exclusive authority to canonize saints, so that local bishops needed the confirmation of the Pope. Walter of Pontoise was the last person in Western Europe to be canonized by an authority other than the Pope: Hugh de Boves, the Archbishop of Rouen, canonized him in 1153. Thenceforth a decree of Pope Alexander III in 1170 reserved the prerogative of canonization to the Pope, insofar as the Latin Church was concerned. One source claims that "there are over 10,000 named saints and beatified people from history, the Roman Martyrology and Orthodox sources, but no definitive head count". Alban Butler published Lives of the Saints including a total of 1,486 saints; the latest revision of this book, edited by the Jesuit Herbert Thurston and the British author Donald Attwater, contains the lives of 2,565 saints. Monsign
Bernard of Clairvaux
Bernard of Clairvaux, O. Cist was a French abbot and a major leader in the reform of Benedictine monasticism that caused the formation of the Cistercian order. "... He was sent to found a new abbey at an isolated clearing in a glen known as the Val d'Absinthe, about 15 kilometres southeast of Bar-sur-Aube. According to tradition, Bernard founded the monastery on 25 June 1115, naming it Claire Vallée, which evolved into Clairvaux. There Bernard would preach an immediate faith, in which the intercessor was the Virgin Mary." In the year 1128, Bernard attended the Council of Troyes, at which he traced the outlines of the Rule of the Knights Templar, which soon became the ideal of Christian nobility. On the death of Pope Honorius II on 13 February 1130, a schism broke out in the Church. King Louis VI of France convened a national council of the French bishops at Étampes in 1130, Bernard was chosen to judge between the rivals for pope. By the end of 1131, the kingdoms of France, Germany, Portugal and Aragon supported Innocent.
Bernard set out to convince these other regions to rally behind Innocent. In 1139, Bernard assisted at the Second Council of the Lateran, he subsequently denounced the teachings of Peter Abelard to the pope, who called a council at Sens in 1141 to settle the matter. Bernard soon saw one of his disciples elected Pope Eugene III. Having helped end the schism within the church, Bernard was now called upon to combat heresy. In June 1145, Bernard traveled in southern France and his preaching there helped strengthen support against heresy, he preached at the Council of Vézelay to recruit for the Second Crusade. After the Christian defeat at the Siege of Edessa, the pope commissioned Bernard to preach the Second Crusade; the last years of Bernard's life were saddened by the failure of the crusaders, the entire responsibility for, thrown upon him. Bernard died after 40 years as a monk, he was the first Cistercian placed on the calendar of saints, was canonized by Pope Alexander III on 18 January 1174. In 1830 Pope Pius VIII bestowed upon Bernard the title "Doctor of the Church".
Bernard's parents were Tescelin de Fontaine, lord of Fontaine-lès-Dijon, Alèthe de Montbard, both members of the highest nobility of Burgundy. Bernard was the third of seven children. At the age of nine years, he was sent to a school at Châtillon-sur-Seine run by the secular canons of Saint-Vorles. Bernard devoted himself for some time to poetry, his success in his studies won the admiration of his teachers. He wanted to excel in literature, he had a special devotion to the Virgin Mary, he would write several works about the Queen of Heaven. Bernard would expand upon Anselm of Canterbury's role in transmuting the sacramentally ritual Christianity of the Early Middle Ages into a new, more held faith, with the life of Christ as a model and a new emphasis on the Virgin Mary. In opposition to the rational approach to divine understanding that the scholastics adopted, Bernard would preach an immediate faith, in which the intercessor was the Virgin Mary, he is cited for saying that St. Mary Magdalene was the Apostle to the Apostles.
Bernard was only nineteen years of age. During his youth, he did not escape trying temptations and around this time he thought of retiring from the world and living a life of solitude and prayer. In 1098 Saint Robert of Molesme had founded Cîteaux Abbey, near Dijon, with the purpose of restoring the Rule of St Benedict in all its rigour. Returning to Molesme, he left the government of the new abbey to Saint Alberic of Cîteaux, who died in the year 1109. After the death of his mother, Bernard sought admission into the Cistercian order. At the age of 22, while Bernard was at prayer in a church, he felt the calling of God to enter the monastery of Cîteaux. In 1113 Saint Stephen Harding had just succeeded Saint Alberic as third Abbot of Cîteaux when Bernard and thirty other young noblemen of Burgundy sought admission into the monastery. Bernard's testimony was so irresistible that 30 of his friends and relatives followed him into the monastic life; the little community of reformed Benedictines at Cîteaux, which would have so profound an influence on Western monasticism, grew rapidly.
Three years Bernard was sent with a band of twelve monks to found a new house at Vallée d'Absinthe, in the Diocese of Langres. This Bernard named Claire Vallée, or Clairvaux, on 25 June 1115, the names of Bernard and Clairvaux would soon become inseparable. During the absence of the Bishop of Langres, Bernard was blessed as abbot by William of Champeaux, Bishop of Châlons-sur-Marne. From that moment a strong friendship sprang up between the abbot and the bishop, professor of theology at Notre Dame of Paris, the founder of the Abbey of St. Victor, Paris; the beginnings of Clairvaux Abbey were trying and painful. The regime was so austere that Bernard became ill, only the influence of his friend William of Champeaux and the authority of the general chapter could make him mitigate the austerities; the monastery, made rapid progress. Disciples put themselves under the direction of Bernard; the reputation of his holiness soon attracted 130 new monks, including his own father. His father and all his brothers entered Clairvaux to pursue religious life, leaving only Humbeline, his sister, in the secular world.
She, with the consent of her husband, soon took the veil in the Benedictine nunnery of Jully-les-No
Gertrude the Great
Gertrude the Great was a German Benedictine nun and theologian. She is recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church, is inscribed in the General Roman Calendar, for optional celebration throughout the Roman Rite as a memorial, on November 16. Little is known of the early life of Gertrude. Gertrude was born on the feast of the Epiphany, January 6, 1256, in Thuringia. At the age of four, she entered the monastery school at the monastery of St. Mary at Helfta, under the direction of its abbess, Gertrude of Hackeborn, it is speculated. Given that Gertrude implies in the Herald that her parents were long dead at the time of writing, however, it is possible that she entered the monastery school as an orphan. Gertrude was confided to the care of St. Mechtilde, younger sister of the Abbess Gertrude, joined the monastic community in 1266, it is clear from her own writings. She, the nun who authored Books 1 and 3-5 of the Herald, are familiar with scripture, the Fathers of the Church such as Augustine and Gregory the Great, in more contemporary spiritual writers such as Richard and Hugh of St Victor, William of St Thierry, Bernard of Clairvaux.
Moreover, Gertrude's writing demonstrates that she was well-versed in rhetoric, her Latin is fluent. In 1281, at the age of 25, she experienced the first of a series of visions that continued throughout her life, which changed the course of her life, her priorities shifted away toward the study of Scripture and theology. Gertrude devoted herself to personal prayer and meditation, began writing spiritual treatises for the benefit of her monastic sisters. Gertrude became one of the great mystics of the 13th century. Together with her friend and teacher St. Mechtild, she practiced a spirituality called "nuptial mysticism," that is, she came to see herself as the bride of Christ. Gertrude died at Helfta, near Eisleben, around 1302, her feast day is celebrated on November 16. Gertrude produced numerous writings; the longest survival is the Legatus Memorialis Abundantiae Divinae Pietatis written by other nuns. There remains her collection of Spiritual Exercises. A work known as Preces Gertrudianae is a compilation, made up of extracts from the writings of Gertrude and of prayers composed in her style.
It is very possible that Gertrude was the author of a part of the revelations of Mechthild of Hackeborn, the Book of Special Grace. The Herald is composed of five books. Book 2 forms the core of the work, was written by Gertrude herself. Books 3, 4, 5 were written by another nun, or more than one, during Gertrude's lifetime and at least in part at her dictation. Book 1 was written shortly before or after Gertrude's death as an introduction to the whole collection; the importance of the Spiritual Exercises extends to the present day because they are grounded in themes and rites of Church liturgy for occasions of Baptism, commitment, union with God, praise of God, preparation for death. Gertrude's Spiritual Exercises can still be used by anyone who seeks to deepen spirituality through prayer and meditation. One of the most esteemed woman saints of the Christian West, she was a notable early devotee of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Book 2 of the Herald of Divine Love is notable within the history of Christian devotion because its vivid descriptions of Gertrude's visions show a considerable elaboration on the long-standing but ill-defined veneration of Christ's heart.
This veneration was present in the belief that Christ's heart poured forth a redemptive fountain through the wound in His side. The women of Helfta—Gertrude foremost, who knew Bernard's commentary, to a somewhat lesser extent the two Mechthilds - Mechthild of Magdeburg and Mechthild of Hackeborn — made this devotion central to their mystical visions. Saint Gertrude had a vision on the feast of John the Evangelist, she was resting her head near the wound in the Savior's side and hearing the beating of the Divine Heart. She asked Saint John if on the night of the Last Supper, he had felt these pulsations, why he had never spoken of the fact. Saint John replied that this revelation had been reserved for subsequent ages when the world, having grown cold, would have need of it to rekindle its love. After her death, Gertrude's works seem to have vanished without trace. Only five manuscripts of the Herald have survived, the earliest one being written in 1412, only two of these manuscripts are complete.
With the invention of printing, Gertrude became far more prominent, with Latin and German editions being published in the sixteenth century. She was popular in seventeenth-century France, where her trust in and burning love for God were potent antidotes to Jansenism. Philip Neri and Francis de Sales both used her prayers and recommended the
The Cistercians the Order of Cistercians, are a Catholic religious order of monks and nuns that branched off from the Benedictines and follow the Rule of Saint Benedict. They are known as Bernardines, after the influential St. Bernard of Clairvaux; the term Cistercian, derives from Cistercium, the Latin name for the village of Cîteaux, near Dijon in eastern France. It was in this village that a group of Benedictine monks from the monastery of Molesme founded Cîteaux Abbey in 1098, with the goal of following more the Rule of Saint Benedict; the best known of them were Robert of Molesme, Alberic of Cîteaux and the English monk Stephen Harding, who were the first three abbots. Bernard of Clairvaux entered the monastery in the early 1110s with 30 companions and helped the rapid proliferation of the order. By the end of the 12th century, the order had spread throughout France and into England, Scotland, Spain, Italy and Eastern Europe; the keynote of Cistercian life was a return to literal observance of the Rule of St Benedict.
Rejecting the developments the Benedictines had undergone, the monks tried to replicate monastic life as it had been in Saint Benedict's time. The most striking feature in the reform was the return to manual labour agricultural work in the fields, a special characteristic of Cistercian life; the Cistercians made major contributions to culture and technology in medieval Europe: Cistercian architecture is considered one of the most beautiful styles of medieval architecture. The original emphasis of Cistercian life was on manual labour and self-sufficiency, many abbeys have traditionally supported themselves through activities such as agriculture and brewing ales. Over the centuries, however and academic pursuits came to dominate the life of many monasteries. A reform movement seeking a simpler lifestyle began in 17th-century France at La Trappe Abbey, became known as the Trappists; the Trappists were consolidated in 1892 into a new order called the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, abbreviated as OCSO.
The Cistercians who did not observe these reforms and remained within the Order of Cistercians and are sometimes called the Cistercians of the Common Observance when distinguishing them from the Trappists. In 1098, a Benedictine abbot, Robert of Molesme, left his monastery in Burgundy with around 20 supporters, who felt that the Cluniac communities had abandoned the rigours and simplicity of the Rule of St. Benedict; the monastery church of Cluny Abbey, the largest in Europe, had become wealthy from rents, feudal rights and pilgrims who passed through Cluniac houses on the Way of St. James; the massive endowments and responsibilities of the Cluniac abbots had drawn them into the affairs of the secular world, their monks had abandoned manual labour to serfs to serve as scholars and "choir monks". On March 21, 1098, Robert's small group acquired a plot of marshland just south of Dijon called Cîteaux, given to them expressly for the purpose of founding their Novum Monasterium. Robert's followers included Alberic, a former hermit from the nearby forest of Colan, Stephen Harding, a member of an Anglo-Saxon noble family, ruined as a result of the Norman conquest of England.
During the first year, the monks set about constructing lodging areas and farming the lands of Cîteaux, making use of a nearby chapel for Mass. In Robert's absence from Molesme, the abbey had gone into decline, Pope Urban II, a former Cluniac monk, ordered him to return; the remaining monks of Cîteaux elected Alberic as their abbot, under whose leadership the abbey would find its grounding. Robert had been the idealist of the order, Alberic was their builder. Upon assuming the role of abbot, Alberic moved the site of the fledgling community near a brook a short distance away from the original site. Alberic discontinued the use of Benedictine black garments in the abbey and clothed the monks in white habits of undyed wool, he returned the community to the original Benedictine ideal of manual work and prayer, dedicated to the ideal of charity and self sustenance. Alberic forged an alliance with the Dukes of Burgundy, working out a deal with Duke Odo I of Burgundy concerning the donation of a vineyard as well as stones with which they built their church.
The church was consecrated and dedicated to the Virgin Mary on November 16, 1106, by the Bishop of Chalon sur Saône. On January 26, 1108, Alberic died and was soon succeeded by Stephen Harding, the man responsible for carrying the order into its crucial phase; the order was fortunate that Stephen was an abbot of extraordinary gifts, he framed the original version of the Cistercian "Constitution" or regulations: the Carta Caritatis. Although this was revised on several occasions to meet contemporary needs, from the outset it emphasised a simple life of work, love and self-denial; the Cistercians regarded themselves as regular Benedictines, albeit the "perfect", reformed ones, but they soon came to distinguish themselves from the monks of unreformed Benedictin
Lower Saxony is a German state situated in northwestern Germany. It is the second-largest state by land area, with 47,624 km2, fourth-largest in population among the 16 Länder federated as the Federal Republic of Germany. In rural areas, Northern Low Saxon and Saterland Frisian are still spoken, but the number of speakers is declining. Lower Saxony borders on the North Sea, the states of Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia and North Rhine-Westphalia, the Netherlands. Furthermore, the state of Bremen forms two enclaves within Lower Saxony, one being the city of Bremen, the other, its seaport city of Bremerhaven. In fact, Lower Saxony borders more neighbours than any other single Bundesland; the state's principal cities include the state capital Hanover, Braunschweig, Lüneburg, Osnabrück, Hildesheim, Wolfenbüttel, Göttingen. The northwestern area of Lower Saxony, which lies on the coast of the North Sea, is called East Frisia and the seven East Frisian Islands offshore are popular with tourists.
In the extreme west of Lower Saxony is the Emsland, a traditionally poor and sparsely populated area, once dominated by inaccessible swamps. The northern half of Lower Saxony known as the North German Plains, is invariably flat except for the gentle hills around the Bremen geestland. Towards the south and southwest lie the northern parts of the German Central Uplands: the Weser Uplands and the Harz mountains. Between these two lie the Lower Saxon Hills, a range of low ridges. Thus, Lower Saxony is the only Bundesland that encompasses both mountainous areas. Lower Saxony's major cities and economic centres are situated in its central and southern parts, namely Hanover, Osnabrück, Salzgitter, Göttingen. Oldenburg, near the northwestern coastline, is another economic centre; the region in the northeast is called the Lüneburg Heath, the largest heathland area of Germany and in medieval times wealthy due to salt mining and salt trade, as well as to a lesser degree the exploitation of its peat bogs until about the 1960s.
To the north, the Elbe River separates Lower Saxony from Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brandenburg. The banks just south of the Elbe are known as Altes Land. Due to its gentle local climate and fertile soil, it is the state's largest area of fruit farming, its chief produce being apples. Most of the state's territory was part of the historic Kingdom of Hanover, it was created by the merger of the State of Hanover with three smaller states on 1 November 1946. Lower Saxony has a natural boundary in the north in the North Sea and the lower and middle reaches of the River Elbe, although parts of the city of Hamburg lie south of the Elbe; the state and city of Bremen is an enclave surrounded by Lower Saxony. The Bremen/Oldenburg Metropolitan Region is a cooperative body for the enclave area. To the southeast, the state border runs through the Harz, low mountains that are part of the German Central Uplands; the northeast and west of the state, which form three-quarters of its land area, belong to the North German Plain, while the south is in the Lower Saxon Hills, including the Weser Uplands, Leine Uplands, Schaumburg Land, Brunswick Land, Untereichsfeld and Lappwald.
In northeast, Lower Saxony is Lüneburg Heath. The heath is dominated by the poor, sandy soils of the geest, whilst in the central east and southeast in the loess börde zone, productive soils with high natural fertility occur. Under these conditions—with loam and sand-containing soils—the land is well-developed agriculturally. In the west lie the County of Bentheim, Osnabrück Land, Oldenburg Land, Oldenburg Münsterland, on the coast East Frisia; the state is dominated by several large rivers running northwards through the state: the Ems, Weser and Elbe. The highest mountain in Lower Saxony is the Wurmberg in the Harz. For other significant elevations see: List of hills in Lower Saxony. Most of the mountains and hills are found in the southeastern part of the state; the lowest point in the state, at about 2.5 m below sea level, is a depression near Freepsum in East Frisia. The state's economy and infrastructure are centred on the cities and towns of Hanover, Celle, Wolfsburg and Salzgitter. Together with Göttingen in southern Lower Saxony, they form the core of the Hannover–Braunschweig–Göttingen–Wolfsburg Metropolitan Region.
Lower Saxony has clear regional divisions that manifest themselves geographically, as well as and culturally. In the regions that used to be independent the heartlands of the former states of Brunswick, Hanover and Schaumburg-Lippe, a marked local regional awareness exists. By contrast, the areas surrounding the Hanseatic cities of Bremen and Hamburg are much more oriented towards those centres. Sometimes and transition areas happen between the various regions of Lower Saxony. Several of the regions listed here are part of other, larger regions, that are included in the list. Just under 20% of the land area of Lower Saxony is designated as nature parks, i.e.: Dümmer, Elbhöhen-Wendland, Elm-Lappwald, Harz, Lüneburger Heide, Münden, Terra.vita, Solling-Vogler, Lake Steinhude, Südheide, Weser Uplands, Wildeshausen Geest, Bourtanger Moor-Bargerveen. L
Three Hail Marys
Three Hail Marys is a traditional Roman Catholic devotional practice of reciting three Hail Marys as a petition for purity and other virtues. Believers recommend that it be prayed after waking in the morning, before going to bed, following the examination of conscience at night; this devotion has been recommended by St. Anthony of Padua, St. Alphonsus Liguori, St. John Bosco and St. Leonard of Port Maurice. Two saints and Gertrude, are said to have received revelations from the Blessed Virgin Mary regarding this practice; the practice of reciting the Hail Mary three times dates at least to the 12th century. One of the first to practice and recommend it was St. Anthony of Padua, his purpose was "to honor the spotless Virginity of Mary and to preserve a perfect purity of mind and body in the midst of the dangers of the world". The practice of saying three Hail Marys in the evening somewhere about sunset had become general throughout Europe in the first half of the fourteenth century and it was recommended and indulgenced by Pope John XXII in 1318 and 1327.
Many saints have practiced and recommended the devotion of the "Three Hail Mary", such as, St. Leonard of Port Maurice, St. Bonaventure, St. John Berchmans, St. John Baptist Mary Vianney, St. Stanislaus Kostka, St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, St. John Joseph of the Cross, St. John Baptist de Rossi, St. Gerard Majella, St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, Blessed Marcellinus Champagnat, St. Alphonsus Liguori, St. Gemma Galgani, St. Josemaría Escrivá; this practice was observed by Franciscans and developed into the Angelus prayer. St. Mechtilde of Hackeborn, a Benedictine nun of the convent of Helfta, experienced three visions of the Virgin Mary. Mechtilde was distressed over her eternal salvation and prayed to the Virgin to be present at the hour of her death. In these appearances, Mary reassured her, taught her to understand on how the Three Hail Marys honor the three persons of the Blessed Trinity; the first prayer recalls the power she received from the Eternal Father to intercede for sinners, the second commemorates the wisdom received from the Son.
According to St. Gertrude, the Blessed Virgin Mary promised the following: "To any soul who faithfully prays the Three Hail Marys, I will appear at the hour of death in a splendor of beauty so extraordinary that it will fill the soul with heavenly consolation." One recommended method is as follows: O Mary, by thy pure and Immaculate Conception, make my body pure and my soul holy. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou amongst women, blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray. Amen. O my Mother, preserve me this day from mortal sin. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou amongst women, blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray. Amen. O my Mother, preserve me this day from mortal sin. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou amongst women, blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray. Amen. O my Mother, preserve me this day from mortal sin. On, St. Leonard of Port Maurice "had the three Ave Marias recited morning and evening in honor of Mary Immaculate, to obtain the grace of avoiding all mortal sins during the day and night.
Doctor of the Church St. Alphonsus Liguori adopted this pious practice and recommended it, he told parents to train their children to acquire the habit of saying three Hail Marys in the morning and evening. After each Hail Mary, he advised that the following prayer be said: "By thy pure and Immaculate Conception, O Mary, make my body pure and my soul holy." According to the St. Martha Catholic Church of the Pallottine Fathers, after Night Prayers: "Many saints have had the practice of adding three Hail Marys here in honor of Mary's purity for the grace of a chaste and holy life." Thus, it has been recommended as a daily practice for people who have received the Sacrament of Confirmation that they pray the Three Hail Marys for "purity of mind and body" after examination of conscience, before going to bed. St. Virgilius Council 185, Knights of Columbus, in Newtown, initiated a Three Hail Mary's Prayer Drive in support of those affected by the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School; the Council requested other Knights Councils and religious organizations to encourage the praying of one Hail Mary for the deceased and their families, one for first responders and teachers, one for the community.
It is a common practice for Catholics to offer three Hail Marys for petition. Fatima Network EWTN on the Efficacious Novena of the Three Hail Marys Moran, Fr. Patrick; the Catholic Prayer Book and manual of meditations p. 519 Luppino, Giuseppe. "Short History of the Angelus", L'Osservatore Romano, 4 September 2002, p.6
The Benedictines the Order of Saint Benedict, are a monastic Catholic religious order of monks and nuns that follow the Rule of Saint Benedict. They are sometimes called the Black Monks, in reference to the colour of the members' religious habits. Despite being called an order, the Benedictines do not operate under a single hierarchy but are instead organised as a collection of independent monastic communities, with each community within the order maintaining its own autonomy. Unlike other religious orders, the Benedictines do not have a superior general or motherhouse with universal jurisdiction. Instead, the order is represented internationally by the Benedictine Confederation, an organisation, set up in 1893 to represent the order's shared interests; the monastery at Subiaco in Italy, established by Saint Benedict of Nursia c. 529, was the first of the dozen monasteries he founded. He founded the Abbey of Monte Cassino. There is no evidence, that he intended to found an order and the Rule of Saint Benedict presupposes the autonomy of each community.
When Monte Cassino was sacked by the Lombards about the year 580, the monks fled to Rome, it seems probable that this constituted an important factor in the diffusion of a knowledge of Benedictine monasticism. It was from the monastery of St. Andrew in Rome that Augustine, the prior, his forty companions set forth in 595 on their mission for the evangelization of England. At various stopping places during the journey, the monks left behind them traditions concerning their rule and form of life, also some copies of the Rule. Lérins Abbey, for instance, founded by Honoratus in 375 received its first knowledge of the Benedictine Rule from the visit of St. Augustine and his companions in 596. Gregory of Tours says that at Ainay Abbey, in the sixth century, the monks "followed the rules of Basil, Cassian and other fathers and using whatever seemed proper to the conditions of time and place", doubtless the same liberty was taken with the Benedictine Rule when it reached them. In Gaul and Switzerland, it supplemented the much stricter Irish or Celtic Rule introduced by Columbanus and others.
In many monasteries it entirely displaced the earlier codes. By the ninth century, the Benedictine had become the standard form of monastic life throughout the whole of Western Europe, excepting Scotland and Ireland, where the Celtic observance still prevailed for another century or two. Through the work of Benedict of Aniane, it became the rule of choice for monasteries throughout the Carolingian empire. Monastic scriptoria flourished from the ninth through the twelfth centuries. Sacred Scripture was always at the heart of every monastic scriptorium; as a general rule those of the monks who possessed skill as writers made this their chief, if not their sole active work. An anonymous writer of the ninth or tenth century speaks of six hours a day as the usual task of a scribe, which would absorb all the time available for active work in the day of a medieval monk. In the Middle Ages monasteries were founded by the nobility. Cluny Abbey was founded by William I, Duke of Aquitaine in 910; the abbey was noted for its strict adherence to the Rule of St. Benedict.
The abbot of Cluny was the superior of all the daughter houses, through appointed priors. One of the earliest reforms of Benedictine practice was that initiated in 980 by Romuald, who founded the Camaldolese community; the dominance of the Benedictine monastic way of life began to decline towards the end of the twelfth century, which saw the rise of the Franciscans and Dominicans. Benedictines took a fourth vow of "stability". Not being bound by location, the mendicants were better able to respond to an "urban" environment; this decline was further exacerbated by the practice of appointing a commendatory abbot, a lay person, appointed by a noble to oversee and to protect the goods of the monastery. Oftentimes, this resulted in the appropriation of the assets of monasteries at the expense of the community which they were intended to support; the English Benedictine Congregation is the oldest of the nineteen Benedictine congregations. Augustine of Canterbury and his monks established the first English Benedictine monastery at Canterbury soon after their arrival in 597.
Other foundations followed. Through the influence of Wilfrid, Benedict Biscop, Dunstan, the Benedictine Rule spread with extraordinary rapidity, in the North it was adopted in most of the monasteries, founded by the Celtic missionaries from Iona. Many of the episcopal sees of England were founded and governed by the Benedictines, no fewer than nine of the old cathedrals were served by the black monks of the priories attached to them. Monasteries served as places of refuge for the weak and homeless; the monks studied the healing properties of plants and minerals to alleviate the sufferings of the sick. Germany was evangelized by English Benedictines. Willibrord and Boniface preached there in the seventh and eighth centuries and founded several abbeys. In the English Reformation, all monasteries were dissolved and their lands confiscated by the Crown, forcing their Catholic members to flee into exile on the Continent. During the 19th century they were able to return to England, including to Selby Abbey in Yorkshire, one of the few great monastic churches to survive the Dissolution.
St. Mildred's Priory, on the Isle of Thanet, was built in 1027 on the site of an abbey founded in 670 by the daughter of the first Christian King of Kent; the priory is home to a community of Benedictine nuns. Five of