“St.Benedict of Nursia”
Ceramic sculpture high relief by AVonnHartung
For private collection (Puerto Rico)
St. Benedict is shown here writing; this is significant for two major reasons. One, because he was a scholar and he was concerned about the sharing of knowledge, which his studies uncovered, with the general public so that they could advance and have a better life, and especially be closer to Christ and His saints.
And two, he is writing in cursive Latin, that is, he’s popularizing Latin and adapting its stilted lettering style into a cursive style more easily written. This style and his use of the Vernacular became the beginnings of the Italian language we know today.
In the foreground we see a black bird, representing the Raven which saved his life when his bread was poisoned by jealous monks envious of his many superior traits and saintly concerns for those under him, which made him such a good leader.
In the background we see Monte Cassino, the monastery he founded some 40 miles south of Rome, which did so much to nourish Christian virtues and enrich European civilization. By the fourteenth century, this monastery, Monte Cassino, “had supplied the Church with 24 popes, 200 cardinals, 7,000 archbishops, 15,000 bishops and 1,500 canonized saints. At its height, the Benedictine order could boast 37,000 monasteries.”
(How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization by Thomas E. Woods Jr, p.28)