July 12, 2012
Yesterday I promised to write about the Blessing of St. Maurus Over the Sick. This is a blessing all Benedictine priests know to use with a sick person. It is different from prayers for the dying and the rituals the Church uses when someone is about to pass away. You can ask any priest or deacon to do this blessing over a sick person.
St. Maurus and St. Placidus were the first two disciples of St. Benedict, offered by their parents as young boys, as was the custom of noble families for centuries. Their feast day is October 5.
St. Gregory the Great wrote in his Life and Miracles of St. Benedict (Book Two of the Dialogues) about St. Benedict and his first two followers, including the story of how St. Maurus saved Placidus from drowning (he walked on water in obedience to St. Benedict) and the many miracles wrought by him in healing the sick. From this tradition the Blessing of St. Maurus arose, and today people often give blessed medals commemorating St. Maurus to friends and loved ones who are ill.
The Blessing of St. Maurus
This blessing is done with either a relic of the true Cross or the Jubilee Medal of St. Benedict. As when a priest brings the Blessed Sacrament to the sick, two candles should be lit. Beginning with an act of contrition and acts of confidence in God, those present at this blessing ask, through the merits and intercession of Sts. Benedict and Maurus, that if it is God’s will the person be healed. All present, in honor of the Blessed Trinity, pray three Our Fathers, Hail Marys, and Glory be’s. Then the priest or deacon puts on a stole and holds up the St. Benedict medal or the relic of the true Cross saying:
V. Benediction and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, honor and power and strength to our God forever and ever.
V. My foot has stood in the direct way.
R. In the churches I will bless You, O Lord.
Through the invocation of the most holy name of the Lord may that faith, in which St. Maurus, by employing the words that follow, healed the sick, and in which I, though an unworthy sinner, utter the selfsame words, restore your health as you desire:
In the name of the most holy and undivided Trinity and supported by the merits of the most holy Father Benedict, I bid you, N., to rise, stand upon your feet and be cured, in the name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit.
Antiphon. Surely He has borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows: by His bruises we are healed.
V. He that forgives the iniquities of his creatures.
R. May He heal your infirmities.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come to You.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with your spirit.
Let us pray
O God, the Creator, of all things, You ordained that Your only Son should take flesh of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit for the restoration of your people and You deigned to heal the wounds and infirmities of our souls by the redemption accomplished upon the sacred and glorious wood of the life-giving Cross: do You also vouchsafe through this powerful sign to restore health to Your servant N.
Through the same Christ our Lord.
Let us pray
Lord Jesus Christ, You conferred upon the master, blessed Benedict, the privilege of obtaining from You whatsoever he might ask in Your name: vouchsafe, through his intercession, to heal all the infirmities of this Your servant: in order that, being restored to health, he (she) may give thanks to Your holy name.
You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever.
Through the invocation of the Immaculate Mother of God and ever Virgin Mary, and the intercession of Saints Benedict and Maurus, may the Power + of God the Father, the Wisdom + of God the Son, and the Strength + of the Holy Spirit free you from your infirmities. Amen.
May God’s holy will be done, and may it be done to you as you wish and pray, for the praise and honor of the most holy Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The priest then blesses the sick person with the relic of the Cross or the medal of St. Benedict saying:
May the blessing of Almighty God, of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit descend upon you and abide with you forever.
The sick person then kisses the relic or the medal of St. Benedict.
If necessary, the blessing can be said three times. Also, three Masses may be offered; votive Masses of the Passion, of St. Maurus, Abbot, and for the Poor Souls.
If the Masses are not offered, the sick person and/or others in his name may pray fifteen decades of the Rosary.
Our Church has such a great treasury of saints and blessings, thanks to Our Lord. Perhaps you might know of someone who needs this St. Maurus blessing. What a great work of charity it is to arrange for it for someone you care about!
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R. Now and forever!
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