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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Saint Maurus, Disciple of Saint Benedict of Nursia (+ 584)

St. Maurus (Feast Day - January 15)

Venerable Maurus was born into a noble family of Rome in the year 512. At the age of twelve he was entrusted to the care of Saint Benedict (Mar. 14), who at that time was giving shape to twelve monasteries. Saint Gregory the Diaologist wrote of this in his Dialogues (Bk. 2, Ch. 3):

"At that time also many noble and religious men of Rome came to him, and committed their children to be brought up under him for the service of God. Evitius delivered Maurus to him, and Tertullius, the Senator, brought Placidus. These were their sons of great hope and promise: of the two, Maurus, growing to great virtue, began to be his master's helper; but Placidus, as yet, was but a boy of tender years."


Saint Gregory also informs us of a miracle involving Saint Maurus in his Dialogues (Bk.2, Ch. 7):

"On a certain day, as venerable Benedict was in his cell, young Placidus, the holy man's monk, went out to take up water at the lake, and, putting down his pail carelessly, fell in after it. The water forthwith carried him away from the land as far as one may shoot an arrow. The man of God, being in his cell, by and by knew this. He called in haste for Maurus, saying: 'Brother Maurus, run as fast as you can, for Placidus, who went to the lake to fetch water, has fallen in, and is carried a good way off.'

A strange thing, and, since the time of Peter the Apostle, never heard of! Maurus asked his father's blessing and, departing in all haste at his command, ran to that spot on the water to which the young lad had been carried by the force of the water. Thinking that he had all that while been on the land, Maurus took fast hold of Placidus by the hair of his head, in all haste he returned with him. As soon as he was on land, coming to himself, he looked back, and then knew very well that he had run on the water. That which before he dared not to presume, being now done and past, he both marveled at, and was afraid of what he had done.

Coming back to the father, Benedict, and telling him what had happened, the venerable man did not attribute this to his own merits, but to the obedience of Maurus. Maurus, on the contrary, said that it was done only on his commandment, and that he had nothing to do with that miracle, not knowing at that time what he did. The friendly contention proceeded in mutual humility, but the youth himself that had been saved from drowning determined the fact. He said that when he was drawn out of the water, he saw the Abbot's garment on his head, affirming thereby that it was the man of God that had delivered him from that great danger."


Maurus was ordained a deacon, and subsequently, Benedict, prior to leaving for Monte Cassino, appointed him coadjutor at Subiaco. During his tenure, various miraculous cures were attributed to his prayers. Around 528, Benedict summoned Maurus to join him at Monte Cassino.

Around 543, Innocentius, the Bishop of Mans, sent his vicar, Adenard, to Monte Cassino to request Benedict to send some monks to Gaul. Maurus was dispatched and, during the journey, obtained a number of cures for the sick and injured encountered along the way. Through the generosity of King Theudebert, he founded Glanfeuil Abbey, which he governed for many years. He resigned the abbacy in 581 to spend the remainder of his life in solitude and prayer. The abbey of Glanfeuil, was later called St. Maur-sur-Loire. Maurus died at Glanfeuil Abbey 15 January 584.


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