Friday, January 16, 2009

Sts. Maur and Placid

Yesterday, the 15th of January, was the feast of Sts. Maur(us) and Placid(us), companions and students of St. Benedict. They had joined up with him in their youth, and became, in tradition, the quintessential disciples of the Master. The picture at the left, by Filipo Lippi at Monte Oliveto Maggiore (the home office of the Olivetan branch of the Benedictine family), shows St. Benedict telling Maur that Placid was drowning and that he should go pull him out of the water. St. Gregory, in his Dialogs, where this event is narrated, says that the obedience of Maur was so perfect that he hastened to the lake and, walking on the water, pulled Placid to safety. He doesn't explain why they all had to wear choir dress for this undertaking, but I suppose that was simply the artist's way of depicting them.
Legend says that Maur went to France and founded a monastery there. Placid and his companions were martyred in Sicily by the perfidious Mohammedan infidels.

Collect: Lord our God, you have filled us with wonder by the example of monastic observance in the lives of blessed Maurus and Placid. As we follow in their footsteps, may we come to share in their reward. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, on God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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