I should be so fortunate as to gloriously conclude my Franciscan career by being burned at the stake in Marseilles, with soldiers guarding the pyre for days and the ashes stolen away so that none of you, my kind readers, might have relics, but it's probably more realistic for me to look forward to a death somewhat more in harmony with my shallow spiritual condition.
Nevertheless, one can have devout hope, and in that spirit, I'd like to point out something I noticed today. It's the feast of St. Benedict, and here in Europe it's a feast day because Benedict is the patron of Europe. Therefore there are propers for Benedict in the Italian breviary that I had never seen before. I was particularly struck, indeed amazed, by the last of the intercessory prayers for Vespers:
Hai fatto di San Benedetto un novello Abramo, padre di moltitudini di santi.
"You have made of St. Benedict another Abraham, father of a multitude of saints."
I checked the typical edition, and this prayer doesn't appear there, so we may rest easy knowing that the Joachimite heresy has not been reborn at the center of holy mother the Church. But it seems to be alive and well somewhere. I'm looking at you, Italian bishops' conference!
If there is anyone out there who prays the Hours from another European edition, I would be very curious to know if you also prayed this prayer today.