Pope Benedict XVI said of the great mediaeval abbot Odo: ‘I present to you the luminous figure of St Odo, Abbot of Cluny. He fits into that period of medieval monasticism which saw the surprising success in Europe of the life and spirituality inspired by the Rule of St Benedict. In those centuries there was a wonderful increase in the number of cloisters that sprang up and branched out over the continent, spreading the Christian spirit and sensibility far and wide. St Odo takes us back in particular to Cluny, one of the most illustrious and famous monasteries in the Middle Ages that still today reveals to us, through its majestic ruins, the signs of a past rendered glorious by intense dedication to ascesis, study and, in a special way, to divine worship, endowed with decorum and beauty … He loved the cell in which he dwelled, “removed from the eyes of all, eager to please God alone.”’

May the single-hearted devotion of St Odo and the other Abbots inspire us in our own journey, and may the light of God be reflected in your own life. May He bless you this day.