When St. Benedict was establishing his first monastic community at Subiaco, parents would bring their children to live with him. Two different Roman patricians brought their sons to become monks at Subiaco. One of them was the future St. Placidus (age 8) while the other was the future St. Maurus.
One morning, St. Benedict asked St. Placidus to go and fetch water from a nearby river. The boy went to the river with a jug and began to fill it. Yet the current in the river was so strong that it pulled Placidus in. The boy began to shout for help, but nobody would come to his aid. It was clear that he would soon be taken underneath the current of the river and drown.
St. Benedict, who was several miles away, heard the boy’s screams and told Maurus to run and pull Placidus out of the river. Maurus ran as fast as he could and, without realizing, walked on water. He pulled out Placidus out by his hair and then brought the frightened boy back to the monastery.
When the monks began to wonder how this miracle had occurred and began to attribute it to Maurus’s, Placidus replied that was not the way that it had happened. Rather, he had seen the abbot’s cloak overshadow him and that it was St. Benedict that had rescued him. What this meant, of course, was that the rescue would not have been possible without St. Benedict’s prayers.
Sts. Placidus and Maurus are two of the first disciples of St. Benedict and are highly venerated in the Benedictine Order. When they grew up, St. Benedict sent Maurus to establish Benedictine monasteries in France. St. Placidus was sent to Sicily for the same reason and that is where he suffered martyrdom.
Our Lady of the Angels, pray for us!
St. Benedict, pray for us!
St. Maurus, pray for us!
St. Placidus, pray for us!