Father Benedict

Venerable Benedict (whose name is Latin and in Greek it means eulogemenos -- blessed) came from the city of Nursia, which lies in Italy, and was the son of pious and rich parents.

He left his home city and his parents, when he was still very young, and went to a desolate place together with his nurturer. There he made friends with God through virtue and exercise and was enriched by Him with the power of performing miracles and cures. Indeed, he worked a lot of miracles raising the dead, foretelling the future, talking about things which were far away as if they were in front of him. It is only necessary for us here to say this: when the saint was about to go to the Lord, he found the time to send a message to both his disciples who were near him as well as to those who were dwelling far away that he was going to die and that there would be a sign through which they would all know that he was separated from his body. Six days before he died, he ordered his grave to be opened and ready. Immediately he was struck by high fever, from which his body dried out within six days. On the sixth day he ordered his disciples to carry him to their chapel. When he was there, he received Holy Communion standing among his disciples. As he was being supported and standing with their help, he raised his hands to heaven and, thus, looking to heaven above and praying, he commended his holy soul to the hands of God. At that time two brothers, one of which was in his cell and the other far away, saw the following vision. There appeared a marvellous road which extended from Venerable Benedict's cell up to heaven to the east. Glorious, precious and silk clothes were spread on the road and some marvellous and wonderful men were standing on the road holding candles and they were orderly ascending to heaven supporting the saint. One of those shining and white-dressed men, who was standing next to the saint, asked the venerable men who were seeing this vision whether they knew whose that marvellous road was, through which "the beloved man of God Benedict was ascending to heaven". So, the two venerable men came to their senses and understood that the saint had departed as they saw him. This vision made known the glory and company which the saint was made worthy to have when he was to depart to the Lord.