Museums and Art

Picture Heavy stone (Miracle with stone), Spinello Aretino, 1387

Picture Heavy stone (Miracle with stone), Spinello Aretino, 1387

Heavy Stone - Spinello Aretino. 1387

In 1387, as the founder of the first large monastic order in the West, Benedict was often portrayed as the builder of monasteries: for example, in the cycle of frescoes in the monastery on Mount Oliveto Maggiore, near Siena, this topic is interpreted in a more sophisticated manner. Judging by the legends of St. Benedict retold in the Dialogues of st. Gregory the Great, he enjoyed great fame and reverence as a miracle worker and exorcist.

In the scene shown here, Spinello Aretino portrayed an episode associated with the first of the constructed St. Benedict of the monasteries on Mount Cassino. Monks in white robes cannot raise the stone slab they need to build, because the devil sits on it (depicted in the traditional style - with a tail, black webbed wings like a bat, and clawed legs). St. Benedict raises his hand to expel the demon, who is in a hurry in a hurry to get out.

ST BENEDICT. Benedict (c. 480-547 AD) was born in Umbria; going to Rome to study, he abandoned the dissolute city life in order to become a hermit. Around 529, he founded his order, the first in Europe, on Mount Cassino. His fame spread everywhere, and the leader of the Ostrogoths Totil listened to his advice. Benedict was buried in the same tomb with his sister St. Scholasticism.

In addition to this, little is known about his life, but there are many legends. Here are some of them: the nanny Benedict followed him to Rome, where she borrowed a sieve; when it fell apart, Benedict miraculously restored it. As a hermit, he was fed by a monk who let him know that the food had been brought by pulling a rope, to which the bell was attached to the other end. Benedict asked the monk brothers to lead a more strict life, because of which they tried to poison him: when Benedict read the blessing over a glass containing poison, he was shattered, as if from a stone. Mauritius and Placidus were two young men assigned to his cares. When Placid fell into the stormy river, Benedict made it so that Maurice could save his friend by walking on the surface of the water and pulling him out of the river by the hair.

The priest-villain tried to poison Benedict with a loaf of bread, but the saint ordered the raven to fly away with the poisoned chunk, and the priest was crushed by the collapsed building. Benedict threatened the two nuns with immediate excommunication if they did not stop gossiping. Ignoring this warning, a few days later they died and were buried in the church. At Mass, the deacon ordered those not belonging to the Church to go out: and these two nuns got up from the graves and left the church.

Benedict cast out demons from the obsessed and healed the sick. Usually he is depicted as a gray-bearded old man. He can wear either a black cassock of the order to which he belonged at the beginning, or a white cassock of the order reformed by him. Its attributes are a raven or a crow, as well as a broken tray.


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