5 Times St. Benedict Was Basically a Jedi Master – EpicPew

5 Times St. Benedict Was Basically a Jedi Master

We all know St. Benedict. The saint whose medal (which you’re probably wearing right now) protects against poisoning and the devil. The saint who founded cenobitic life removed from the world when stuff in the fast-crumbling Western arm of the Roman Empire was starting to get real. His Rule is known for bringing a quiet rhythm to the lives of those who follow it, and the abbeys that bear his name are famous for being places of retreat and silence. There is even an awesome liquor associated with his Order, Benedictine. The overall image we have of him is pretty chill: a quiet old bearded man.

source: wikipedia
“Your pardons my son, for lo, I hear thee not over the awe of mine own beard.”

What we rarely hear about is that beneath all the beard and the prayer vigils lay a desert-dwelling Jedi Master who literally beat the daylights out of demons, summoned dragons out of thin air, and basically told terrifying Goth warlords where they could shove it. He was a lean, mean, ascetic machine and the devil himself knew better than to mess with a dude with a midichlorian count as high as St. Benedict’s. The following are all excerpts from St. Gregory the Great’s Life of St. Benedict, and they’ll all make you rest a little easier at night with that Benedictine medal around your neck.

1. St. Benedict shuts down his own assassination attempt (with the For–er, grace of God)


After St. Benedict had gotten something of a reputation for being a holy man, a nearby monastery appealed to him to take the place of their recently deceased abbot. He tried several times to (charitably) tell them they weren’t on his level and wouldn’t like his manner of life. Finally he gave in and immediately implemented his Rule. Inexplicably the monks fell into a rage (beard envy, probs) and, in the overreaction of the century, plotted to kill him by poisoning his wine. This went exactly as well as you can imagine and when Benedict made the Sign of the Cross over his glass at dinner “the glass, which was held afar off, broke in pieces as if he had thrown a stone against it.” St. Benedict stood up and basically said the 6th century version of I told you so and a room full of slack-jawed monks watched him and his venerable beard march out into the desert right then and there, presumably while  Binary Sunset played in the background.

2. St. Benedict pulls a Yoda (and an ax out of a lake)


Another time, a Goth came to Benedict “poor in spirit, desiring to lead a religious life.” St. Benedict settled him in a cell and at length the Goth decided to plant a garden. He ordered for an ax so he could clear the land, and set to work. At length, the ax head came loose of the handle and fell into a deep lake, utterly irretrievable. Anxious that his garden would never be completed and he would thus starve, the Goth informed one of Benedict’s monks who informed Benedict himself. Benedict immediately went out to the lake, “took the handle out of the Goth’s hand and cast into into the lake when, behold, the iron rose up from the bottom and entered into the handle as before. Which he there rendered to the Goth saying ‘Behold! Work on and be not discomforted.'” That sounds kind of fami—oh.


3. St. Benedict has had it with a darksided Goth

TAKE A SEAT YOUNG TRASHLORD | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

There was once a Goth, whom St. Gregory the Great describes as a “terrible” Goth presumably because he was A) a Goth, B) an Arian which was basically the Sith of the early Church and C) named Galla which just sounds ugh. He pillaged the countryside and killed any monk that crossed his path. In short, Galla was the literal worst. So it’s understandable that when he came upon a simple farmer, the farmer flipped out and lied to Galla, and told him all of his goods were in the care of St. Benedict who lived in a monastery nearby. Galla bound the farmer (rude) and forced him to lead the way to Benedict’s monastery. They found Benedict chilling out front with a book. Galla immediately started yelling and cursing at Benedict because of course he did. Benedict glanced up from his book long enough to cast his eye on the farmer, whose bonds immediately and miraculously fell away. Galla stopped being terrible for the first time in his life and “fell prostrate and bowed his stiff and cruel neck at the holy man’s feet, begging his prayers.” Refusing to be bothered, Benedict ordered the Goth to go inside the monastery, sit in the refectory, and wait until he was done with his book. St. Gregory doesn’t mention whether or not they got into a lightsaber duel over Arianism, but I guess that’s what fanfiction is for.

4. St. Benedict corrects a wayward monk with a Jedi mind trick (and it involves dragons)


In one of his monasteries, St. Benedict counselled a monk who was prone to inconstancy in his vocation and couldn’t make up his mind whether he wanted to leave the cloister or stay. Finally Benedict got so fed up with the young upstart that he finally told him to leave. St. Gregory relates that the monk had barely cleared the monastery gates when “he met on the way a dragon that, with open mouth made toward him.” Understandably freaked out beyond all belief, he screamed for the brothers to come help him because OH MY GOD RANDOM DRAGON. The brothers came running out because I mean, seeing a prodigal monk get eaten by a dragon is the closest they probably ever got to quality entertainment out in the wilderness. They were sadly disappointed, for all they saw was a young monk running about waving his arms screaming about a firebreathing lizardbeast that was most certainly not there. The poor boy ran straight back into the monastery where he promised Benedict to never leave ever again ever. It turns out that the monk “by the prayers of the holy man was made to see the dragon ready to devour him.” Not even Yoda could summon mind dragons like it wasn’t no thing, and if he could have, the Clone Wars would have gone a lot smoother.

5. St. Benedict beats the devil out of someone (like, for real)


This particular story is one of the shortest in Gregory the Great’s Life of St. Benedict but it’s also one of the most awesome. One afternoon, Benedict met a travelling “physician” who claimed to be on his way to administer medicine to a monk in the wilderness. St. Benedict recognized that it was none other than Satan himself, and ran after him. By the time he caught up with the “old enemy,” Satan had already possessed a monk and was repeatedly throwing the poor man to the ground. Thereupon Benedict did the only thing he could do, which was immediately punch the man in the face which “immediately drove the wicked spirit out of him, so that he never dared return again.”  Wars not make one great, but rest assured that when stuff gets real, St. Benedict will be there to knock evil out with the wave of his hand (or lightsaber. A girl can dream, right?).