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Book Two of the Dialogues: Life of Saint Benedict


That cave in which he first dwelled [at Subiaco], even to this very time, works miracles, if the faith of those that pray there requires the same.

For the thing which I mean now to rehearse fell out lately. A certain woman falling mad, lost the use of reason so far, that she walked up and down, day and night, in mountains and valleys, in woods and fields, and rested only in that place where extreme weariness enforced her to stay. On a day it so fell out, that albeit she wandered at random, yet she missed not the right way: for she came to the cave of the blessed man Benedict: and not knowing anything, in she went, and reposed herself there that night, and rising up in the morning, she departed as sound in sense and well in her wits, as though she had never been distracted in her whole life, and so continued always after, even to her dying day.
PETER: What is the reason that in the patronage of martyrs we often times find, that they do not afford so great benefit by their bodies, as they do by other of their relics: and do there work greater miracles, where themselves be not present?
GREGORY: Where the holy martyrs lie in their bodies, there is no doubt, Peter, but that they are able to work many miracles, yea and also do work infinite, to such as seek them with a pure mind. But for as much as simple people might have some doubt whether they be present, and do in those places hear their prayers where their bodies be not, necessary it is that they should in those places show greater miracles, where weak souls may most doubt of their presence.
But he whose mind is fixed in God, hath so much the greater merit of his faith in that he both knows that they rest not there in body, and yet be there present to hear our prayers. And therefore our Saviour himself, to increase the faith of his disciples, said: "If Ido not depart, the Comforter will not come to you," [John 16:7]: for, seeing certain it is that the comforting Spirit does always proceed from the Father and the Son, why does the Son say that he will depart that the Comforter may come, who never is absent from the Son? But because the disciples, beholding our Lord in flesh, always desired to see him with their corporal eyes, very well did he say to them: "Unless I do go away, the Comforter will not come:" as though he had plainly told them: If I do not withdraw my body, I cannot let you understand what the love of the spirit is: and except you give over [cease] to love my carnal presence, never will you learn to affect me with true spiritual love.
PETER: That you say pleases me very well.
GREGORY: Let us now for a while give over our discourse, to the end that if we mean to prosecute the miracles of other Saints, we may through silence be the more able to perform it.

The end of the Second Book


The St. Pachomius Orthodox Library,
Have mercy, O Lord, on Thy servants the translator P.W., the editor Edmund, and the scribes Boris, Deborah, Demetrios, Edward, Gerald, Jeff, Larry, Mary, Matthew, Paul, Robert, Steven, Susan, Timothy, and Walter.






This document is in the public domain. Copying it is encouraged.
Partially modernized and hypertexted by Richard osb, monk of Collegeville, 25 July 2001.



OSB Index | Gen. Information | Saint Benedict


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


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