St Benedict’s parents were African slaves, having been captured and forcefully taken to a place near Messina, Italy. There they converted to Catholicism and, because of their many years of loyal service as slaves, when Benedict was born (1526 – 1589) he was given naturalised citizenship.
In his youth, St Benedict worked with his parents, receiving a “Slave Wage,” which he often gave to people he believed were, “more needy,” than himself. His early education was, by today’s western standards, “Nil,” but his racial tolerance, generosity and respect for those around him attracted others attention.
St Benedict was invited to join a religious hermit group, who followed the rules of St Francis of Assisi. There he happily enriched his spiritual life, initially as a Lay Brother and later as the group leader.
St Benedict’s Feast Day is 4th April. St Benedict is the Patron Saint of African and black missions, black people, Palermo; San Fratello, Sicily and, with St Martin de Porres, Patron Saint of African Americans.
Pray for us that we will be generous in our service of the poor and marginalised.
Glory be to the…