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Catholic Prayer: Roman Ritual: Blessing of Bees


This is the only source that mentions this connection with St. Benedict and the Blessing of Bees. While Benedictine monasteries regularly kept hives, there is no official connection within the Roman Ritual. Although not the patron of bees or beekeepers, there is a Benedictine connection. The original Benedictine monasteries were usually self-sufficient, which means the monks had to provide for all needs. One thing that would be included in every monastery was beekeeping, to make beeswax for candles and honey for food and mead.

St. Benedict's feast was formerly March 21, but it is now celebrated on July 11.


St. Benedict is the patron of bee-keepers, and those who themselves have bees could not do better than mark his day by praying for their hives. Farmers can pray for their cattle and their barns; fishermen for their fishing boats and the fish in the sea, why should bee-keepers do less? In some parts of France it was, and may still be, customary for bee-keepers to have a medal of St. Benedict affixed to their hives:

O Lord, God almighty, who hast created heaven and earth and every animal existing over them and in them for the use of men, and who hast commanded through the ministers of holy Church that candles made from the products of bees be lit in church during the carrying out of the sacred office in which the most holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ thy Son is made present and is received; may thy holy blessing descend upon these bees and these hives, so that they may multiply, be fruitful and be preserved from all ills and that the fruits coming forth from them may be distributed for thy praise and that of thy Son and the holy Spirit and of the most blessed Virgin Mary.

Prayer Source: Candle is Lighted, A by P. Stewart Craig, The Grail, Field End House, Eastcote, Middlesex, 1945
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