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Book Two of the Dialogues: Life of Saint Benedict

CHAPTER SEVEN: HOW MAURUS WALKED UPON THE WATER.

On a certain day, as venerable Benedict was, in his cell, young Placidus, the holy man's monk, went out to take up water at the lake, and putting down his pail carelessly, fell in after it. The water forthwith carried him away from the land as far as one may shoot an arrow. The man of God, being in his cell, by and by knew this. He called in haste for Maurus, saying: "Brother Maurus, run as fast as you can, for Placidus, who went to the lake to fetch water, has fallen in, and is carried a good way off."

Illustration by Jeanne Kerremans

A strange thing, and since the time of Peter the Apostle never heard of! Maurus asked his father's blessing and, departing in all haste at his command, ran to that spot on the water, to which the young lad had been carried by the force of the water. Thinking that he had all that while been on the land, Maurus took fast hold of Placidus by the hair of his head, in all haste he returned with him. As soon as he was on land, coming to himself, he looked back, and then knew very well that he had run on the water. That which before he dared not to presume, being now done and past, he both marveled and was afraid of what he had done.

Coming back to the father, Benedict, and telling him what had happened, the venerable man did not attribute this to his own merits, but to the obedience of Maurus. Maurus, on the contrary, said that it was done only on his commandment, and that he had nothing to do in that miracle, not knowing at that time what he did. The friendly contention proceeded in  mutual humility, but the youth himself that had been saved from drowning determined the fact. He said that when he was drawn out of the water, he saw the Abbot's garment on his head, affirming thereby that it was the man of God that had delivered him from that great danger.

PETER: Certainly these are wonderful things that you report, and they may serve for the edification of many. For my own part, the more that I hear of his miracles, the more do I desire to hear.

 

OSB Index | Gen. Information | Saint Benedict

 


25 July 2001
Order of Saint Benedict
Collegeville, MN 56321-2015

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