The Benedictine Monks of Nursia, who reside at the birthplace of Sts. Benedict and Scholastica in Italy, are celebrating the one year anniversary of their brewery.
Somewhat surprisingly the beer sales have opened evangelical doors. People come to the monastery to sample this high quality beer which is an entree into the life of the monastery. As the monks have experienced, many people who visit have had negative experiences with the Church, with the clergy or perhaps no experience at all with the Faith. Speaking to the monks leads to a discussion about the monk’s life and it goes positively from there.
St. Benedict told his brethren to “work” and provide for themselves. Birra Nursia gives these sons of Saint Benedict a means to support themselves and a way to reach out, especially to younger people.
The monks themselves drink beer on special occasions, such as Sundays and Feast days. “The project of the monastic brewery was conceived with the hope of sharing with others the joy arising from the labor of our own hands, so that in all things the Lord and Creator of all may be sanctified.”
They were in the news earlier this year when it became known that they supplied the beer for the papal conclave that elected Pope Francis. As someone in the blogosphere commented: The New Pope Will Be Selected When the Conclave Runs Out of Beer!
This video gives you a wonderful look into this work of their hands. Cheers!
The more I drink, the more I thirst.
These are the words of Peter in the Dialogues as he thirsts for more miracle stories about St. Benedict. They are pertinent today too for the Benedictine Monks of Norcia who inaugurated a brewery this summer to help sustain the monastery, located on at the birthplace of St. Benedict of Nursia. The beer is called appropriately enough Birrra Nursia and has the motto: Ut Laetifect Cor (from Psalm 104 – how wine is a gift from God to gladden men’s hearts).
The Archbishop reminded those in attendance of the miracle of Cana where Christ performed a miracle which brought joy to the hearts of the wedding party.
Fr. Cassian Folsom, O.S.B., the founder of the monastery, has been undergoing treatment for cancer which, thanks be to God, is now in remission. He joyfully celebrated with Bro. Evagrius as Brother professed solemn vows on August 11th. In July, four young men participated in a discernment program. May God bless them with holy vocations.
If you are interested in becoming a Benedictine oblate associated with the monastery at Norcia, contact Brother Anthony, the Oblate Director. It is necessary to come to Italy for an initial retreat and then begin the Oblate Novitiate which lasts one year.
Oblates are people who are attracted to Benedictine spirituality but those whose state in life obliges them to live in the world. The monks remember all of the oblates in prayer at the closing of the Divine Office: May the Divine assistance remain always with us, and with our absent brethren.