Here is a short extract from St Gregory’s Life of St Benedict: ‘The holy man for many years in that desert increased wonderfully in virtues and miracles, whereby a great number in those parts were gathered together in the service of Almighty God: so that, by the assistance of our Lord Jesus Christ, he built there twelve monasteries, in each of which he put twelve monks with their superiors, and retained a few with himself whom he thought to instruct further. Now began divers noble and devout personages from Rome to resort to him, and commended their children to be brought up by him in the service of Almighty God. At the same time, Equitius brought unto him Maurus, and Tertullus a Senator his son Placidus, both very hopeful children, of which two, Maurus, although young, yet by reason of his forwardness in the school of virtue, began to assist his master, but Placidus was as yet a child of tender years’.

Both of these went on to live lives of exemplary virtue, having been formed from their earliest years by St Benedict himself. May they pray especially for all children at this time, particularly those who are made unhappy and disorientated by the challenges of the pandemic. May God bless you this day.