Patrons of the Oblates
St. Henry is venerated as the special patron of the Oblates. Being the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, he was weighed down with the burden of worldly affairs, yet he proved to be a great lover of the Benedictines. He had received from Pope Benedict VIII the imperial globe, mounted with a cross and four jewels, but dispatched it to Cluny, a celebrated French Benedictine monastery, with the words: "who are more worthy to receive these insignia than they who have trampled the world under their feet in order to imitate the Savior?" He himself wished to assume the monastic garb, but was told in holy obedience to resume the sceptre. Holy and innocent he lived amid the surroundings of an imperial court; as a saint he died in 1024, and is venerated by the Church on July 15th.
St. Frances of Rome, a descendant of a noble family, is likewise a patron of the Oblates. Her desires were quite different from those of other illustrious Roman matrons. Her delight was humility; her ambition, simplicity in dress and conversation. Happily married at the age of twelve to Lorenzo De' Ponziani, she raised her family in the fear of the Lord and taught her associates to refrain from a luxury which at that time was extravagant. With heroic fortitude she bore the most distressing misfortunes, the confiscation of her wealth and the death of her husband. She found her consolation in the establishment of an institute for pious women, known as the Oblates of Tor' de' Specchi, which she joined three years before her death, and which still exists in Rome. In St. Frances, the Oblates may admire a profound humility, an entire devotedness to duty, an heroic Christian charity. Her holy life closed on March 9, 1440.
These are but two gems in the crown of the secular Benedictine saints who attained their eternal destiny by prayer and labor. But the many other great saints who were members of the Benedictine Order may also be venerated by the Oblates as their patrons, particularly St. Scholastica, the twin sister of St. Benedict and foundress of the female branch of the Order; St. Maur and St. Placid, two of the first disciples of St. Benedict; St. Gertrude and St. Mechtilde, the privileged confidantes of the Sacred Heart; St. Gregory the Great, Pope, and St. Anselm, both Doctors of the Church; Saint Bede the Venerable; St. Bernard, and many others.
Prayers to the Patron Saints of the Oblates
To St. Henry
To St. Frances of RomeO God, who, among the other wonders of Thy grace, didst privilege Thy servant, Frances, oftentimes to have speech with an angel: grant, we beseech Thee, that, helped by her prayers, we likewise may one day be admitted into the company of the holy angels. Through Christ our Lord. Amen
(Excerpted from Daily Companion for Secular Oblates of St. Benedict, 2nd. Edition, February 1948)