Today is the Feast of the great St. Benedict, father of Western monasticism, patron of Europe, patron of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, and protector of Western civilization.

Those who assist at Mass at an apostolate of the Institute today may receive a plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions. There is still time to hit Mass today, as St. Francis de Sales Oratory will have another Mass at 6:30 pm.

This beautiful hymn is traditionally sung at second Vespers of the feast:

Gemma Caelestis

Gemma caelestis pretiosa Regis,
Norma iustorum, via monachorum,
Nos ab immundi, Benedicte, mundi
Subtrahe caeno.

Tu solum spernens, cor in astra figens
Cogis heredes fieri parentes.,
Vas Deo plenum, repardare fractum

Magnus in parvis eremita membris
Vincis aetatem, superas laborem,
Arcta Districtae rudimenta vitae
Fervidus imples.

Strage saxorum puerum sepultum,
Mox ut orasti, prece suscitasti:
Sensus hinc carni, caro sanitati
Redditur aeque.

Iure sub blandae specie columbae
Nesciam fellis animam sororis
Summa stellati penetrare caeli
Culmina cemis.

Ipse post clarum referens triumphum,
Celsa devicto petis astra mundo:
Luce flammantem radiante callem
Pallia sternunt.

Gloria Patri, Genitaeque Proli,
Et tibi, compar utriusque semper
Spiritus alme, Deus unus, omni
Tempore saecli. Amen.

Benedict, precious jewel of the King of Heaven,
Model for the just and way for monks,
Call us forth
From this troubled world.

Spurning what was base,
you set your heart on the stars.
You made heirs of your parents,
For you, God’s perfect vessel,
Were fit to repair a shattered one.

Great among a small company of hermits
You overcame your youthfulness
and excelled in your labor
As you fervently undertook
The narrow beginnings of the strict life.

When a youth was buried
in the rubble of a collapsing wall,
He was raised up as soon as you prayed;
With your prayer you restored
Sense to his flesh and health to his body.

You saw your sister’s soul, unknown to sin,
Attain the very heights
Of starry heaven
In the form of a gentle dove.

After this marvel you in turn
Sought starry heights, having mastered this life;
Your cloak shone forth
A flaming path charged with light.

Glory to the Father, to the Only Begotten,
And to you, loving Spirit,
Always their equal,
One God for all ages. Amen.