Posted by: anna | July 11, 2010

B Benedicta and Queen Hemma

Today (28 June) we turn to Miss Dunbar again for commemorations of another two, very different, holy women:
B. Benedicta (14), June 28. A laysister in the nunnery of Petra, near Subiaco. Her real name has not come down to us, so she is called after the founder of her order. One day the abbess sent her some distance, with an ass, to fetch flour from a mill. She said her prayers while the corn was being ground, and went on with more prayers, although the miller warned her that it was going to rain, and that she would not get home at the time required by the rule. When her prayers were ended, it was quite dark and pouring wet, but she arrived safely at the monastery, with the new supply of flour, the donkey, and her own clothes perfectly dry. The abbess said to her, ‘You must be tired after your long walk. Go to bed.’ Benedicta said, ‘Let me first say my usual prayers in the chapel.’ While she was there, the other nuns made supper ready for her, and as she did not come for some time, they went to fetch her. They found her kneeling with her hands clasped, and her head up quite dead. They buried her in that attitude. Long afterwards, in 1463, her body was found in perfect preservation, and after the nunnery was destroyed, her story was remembered, and a chapel was built in her honour.

Hemma (1), queen of Bavaria, June 28. 9th century. Represented teaching her three children to pray. At their feet lie the three crowns – Germany, Italy, and France – which eventually came severally to her three sons. She was the wife of Louis, king of Bavaria. She died before him, and was buried at Ratisbon. She was mother of Charles the Fat, who reigned 881-887. Guenebault, Die. Incon., gives as his authority Rader’s Bavaria Pia, where the illustration is as he describes, but she is not there called ‘Saint’, although described as a holy queen.

Blessed Benedicta and holy queen Hemma, pray to God for us.

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