Prayer of Saint Benedict of Nursia

Benedict_BackO Lord, I place myself in your hands and dedicate myself to you. I pledge myself to do your will in all things: To love the Lord God with all my heart, all my soul, all my strength. Not to kill. Not to steal. Not to covet. Not to bear false witness. To honour all persons. Not to do to another what I would not wish done to myself. To chastise the body. Not to seek after pleasures. To love fasting. To relieve the poor. To clothe the naked. To visit the sick. To bury the dead. To help in trouble. To console the sorrowing. To hold myself aloof from worldly ways. To prefer nothing to the love of Christ. Not to give way to anger. Not to foster a desire for revenge. Not to entertain deceit in the heart. Not to make a false peace. Not to forsake charity. Not to swear, lest I swear falsely. To speak the truth with heart and tongue. Not to return evil for evil. To do no injury: yea, even to bear patiently any injury done to me. To love my enemies. Not to curse those who curse me, but rather to bless them. To bear persecution for justice’s sake. Not to be proud. Not to be given to intoxicating drink. Not to be an over-eater. Not to be lazy. Not to be slothful. Not to be a murmurer. Not to be a detractor. To put my trust in God. To refer the good I see in myself to God. To refer any evil in myself to myself. To fear the Day of Judgment. To be in dread of hell. To desire eternal life with spiritual longing. To keep death before my eyes daily. To keep constant watch over my actions. To remember that God sees me everywhere. To call upon Christ for defense against evil thoughts that arise in my heart. To guard my tongue against wicked speech. To avoid much speaking. To avoid idle talk. To read only what is good to read. To look at only what is good to see. To pray often. To ask forgiveness daily for my sins, and to seek ways to amend my life. To obey my superiors in all things rightful. Not to desire to be thought holy, but to seek holiness. To fulfill the commandments of God by good works. To love chastity. To hate no one. Not to be jealous or envious of anyone. Not to love strife. Not to love pride. To honour the aged. To pray for my enemies. To make peace after a quarrel, before the setting of the sun. Never to despair of your mercy, O God of Mercy. Amen.

About Saint Benedict

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8 Responses to Prayer of Saint Benedict of Nursia

  1. Reblogged this on Solutio Problematis Omnes (aka "The Catholic Linker") and commented:
    St. Benedict is a great partner in your spiritual warfare battle. We encourage all to increase your devotion to him.


  2. Saint Benedict has a special place in my heart. I thank you for sharing this beautiful prayer.


  3. Michael says:

    To complement this beautiful prayer, here are some inspiring words about the great Saint Benedict, taken from Venerable Pius XII’s encyclical Fulgens Radiatur, that remind us of what Benedict achieved at a time when, like our own (albeit in different respects), the days seemed dark indeed and it was hard to see how and in what form both the Church and Christian culture would survive:

    While the century had grown old in vice, while Italy and all Europe seemed to be a wretched theater for the life and death struggle of nations, and even the monastic discipline was weakened with worldliness and was not up to the task of resisting …, Benedict proved the perennial youth of the Church by his outstanding sanctity and work; he restored morality by his teaching and example; he protected the sanctuary of religious life with safer and holier laws. Nor was that all; he and his followers reclaimed the uncultured tribes from their wild life to civic and Christian culture; directing them to the practice of virtue, industry and the peaceful arts and literature, he united them in the bonds of fraternal affection and charity…

    Cassino, as all know, was the chief dwelling place and the main theater of the Holy Patriarch’s virtue and sanctity. From the summit of this mountain, while practically on all sides ignorance and the darkness of vice kept trying to overshadow and envelop everything, a new light shone, kindled by the teaching and civilization of old and further enriched by the precepts of Christianity; it illumined the wandering peoples and nations, recalled them to truth and directed them along the right path…

    It was here that Benedict brought the monastic life to that degree of perfection to which he had long aspired by prayer, meditation and practice. The special and chief task that seemed to have been given to him in the designs of God’s providence was not so much to impose on the West the manner of life of the monks of the East, as to adapt that life and accommodate it to the genius, needs and conditions of Italy and the rest of Europe. Thus to the placid asceticism which flowered so well in the monasteries of the East, he added laborious and tireless activity which allows the monks “to give to others the fruit of contemplation”, and not only to produce crops from uncultivated land, but also to cultivate spiritual fruit through their exhausting apostolate.

    I found this at the Daily Gospel site, which I highly recommend to anyone who hasn’t heard of it – free subscription provides you with a daily email containing the day’s readings, information on the saint of that day, and a short commentary (usually, but not always, from a saint) to complement the themes that emerge from the readings.


  4. toadspittle says:

    Benedict has covered all the bases here, hasn’t he? A bit more attention might profitably be paid to the fourth admonition from the end, old Toad suggests.

    ..while Italy and all Europe seemed to be a wretched theater for the life and death struggle of nations,” excellent and accurate description of the first half of the 20th Century. Plus ça change, etc.


  5. Gertrude says:

    Oddly, as a Benedictine Oblate, I have never seen this prayer before. I would be interested in its origins, as reading it there are echo’s of St. Francis and the attributed (but not in fact ever said by him) Lord make me an instrument. It is however a beautiful aspirational prayer.


  6. GC says:
  7. mmvc says:

    I picked the prayer up from EWTN which I believe has the reputation for being reliable.
    Here is the link:


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