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Book Two of the Dialogues: Life of Saint Benedict


Illustration by Jeanne Kerremans

At such time as there was a great dearth in Campania, the man of God had given away all the wealth of the Abbey to poor people, so that in the cellar there was nothing left but a little oil in a glass.

A certain sub-deacon called Agapitus came to him, instantly craving that he would bestow a little oil on him. Our Lord's servant, who was resolved to give away all on earth that he might find all in heaven, commanded that the oil be given him. The monk that kept the cellar, however, heard what the father commanded, yet he did not perform it.

Inquiring not long after whether he had given that which he commanded, the monk told him that he had not, adding that if he had given it away, that there was not to be any left for the Convent. Then in an anger he commanded others to take that glass with the oil, and to throw it out at the window, to the end that nothing might remain in the Abbey contrary to obedience. The monks did so, and threw it out at a window, under which there was a huge downfall, full of rough and craggy stones on which the glass landed, but yet continued for all that so sound as though it had never been thrown out at all, for neither the glass was broken nor any of the oil shed.

Then the man of God commanded it to be taken up again, and, whole as it was, to be given to him that desired it, and in the presence of the other brethren he reprehended the disobedient monk, both for his infidelity, and also for his proud mind.


OSB Index | Gen. Information | Saint Benedict


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


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