St. Benedict of the Flowers or simply St. Benedict

St. Benedict of the Flowers or simply St. Benedict

St. Benedict was born in Italy and was a Franciscan monk. At the convent where he lived his job was to work in the kitchen.
Two images portray St. Benedict in sacred art:  One holding the baby Jesus in his bosom, and the other carrying flowers, which symbolized food he had hidden which turned into flowers.  The stories behind this symbolism are as follows.
 
Transformation of food into flowers
 
He always worried that the poorest people did not have enough to eat, and he would hide food from the convent inside his clothes and take it to feed the hungry throughout the little streets of the towns.
One day he was surprised by the Superior of the convent who stopped him and asked, “What do you have there, hidden inside your robes, Brother Benedict?” He humbly responded, “Roses, my lord.” When he opened his robes, the food had become rare and beautiful roses.
 
The baby Jesus in the bosom
 
The image of St. Benedict holding the baby Jesus in his bosom has roots in two occurrences. The first is a reference to supernatural experiences witnessed on various occasions in which he lived at times seemed to be living with the baby Jesus. There were many testimonies claiming to have seen Benedict in deep prayer while actually holding the baby Jesus in his arms. The second reference is a presence of God which seemed to live with Benedict. This presence radiated through his humility, happiness, holiness and the miracles which occurred throughout his sainthood. Among these were the healing of two children who were cured of blindness and deafness, and also on another occasion, the multiplication of bread and fish. For this, he is considered the saint protector of cooks and kitchens.
He died at 65 on April 4, 1598 in Palermo, Italy.

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