April 24, 2009
Single leaf from a gradual:
Initial M with St. Benedict of Nursia receiving the Rule
and giving it to St. Romuald and his friars, March 21
Florence, Italy, c. 1270-80
Parchment with ink, paint, and gold
This initial begins the first response of the first nocturn of Matins for the feast of St. Benedict (Mar. 21), “Mundum vocans ad agni nuptias …” (Calling the world to the marriage of the Lamb). The rule of St. Benedict is the set of instructions and teachings on leading the monastic life that became the foundational text of Western monasticism.
St. Benedict’s feast day falls on March 21. However, since it typically falls during the penitential season of Lent, the day is celebrated July 11.
Free Library of Philadelphia E M 74:6