Thoughts about the choice of name

All caged from NRO:

BENEDICT [Peter Robinson]
“Benedict,” of course, comes from the Latin words for (loosely) “speaking well” and “speaking good to others.” The new Holy Father, announcing that he cherishes words.

said we needed a new St. Benedict. Maybe the new pope read After Virtue.

I’ll have to look into the Benedict line, and read more about it.

An NRO reader sends this along, helpfully:
Per your reader who asked about the significance of Benedict XV being a voice for peace during the First World War, we could also speculate that the name is meant to echo some other Popes whose record matches the former Cardinal Ratzinger’s reputation (whatever the reality may be):

Benedict XIII (1724-1730) who worked to end decadence among Priests.

Benedict XII (1334 to 1342), who likewise worked to curb the luxurious lifestyles of some of the monasteries. As a bishop he had also fought heresy and witchcraft.

Benedict II (684 to 685) is the Patron Saint of Europe, incidentally.

The Last Benedict.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • tmt

    Benedict can also be translated as “blessing”. There are some hymns to St. Benedict which begin “Benedict, your name is blessing…” It’s a good strong name. It will be interesting to hear why the new Pope Cardinal chose it. The Abbot, St. Benedict was known for his sense of order and love of learning, but also for his mercy and concern for every soul under his care. Moderation in all things was his motto. Work and Prayer the Motto of his order. I like this choise of name a lot.

  • TheAnchoress

    Ah, TMT…you never fail me. What a wonderful comment! You Benedictine, you! :-)

  • peggy

    Thanks TMT. I was wondering if there was any connection to the latin for “blessing”

    I’m not going to try to spell it cus I know I’ll get it wrong :) But you know what I mean.

    I like the vibe. A pope who intends to be a blessing and maybe to follow in the great saints footsteps in his pastoral ministry to the world and the church.


  • gerrymander

    Of the historical namesakes, I suspect Benedict VIII to be high on the list of referrents. His notable positions were a hard line against the Islamization of Europe and reformations of Church abuses (including a reaffirmation of clerical celibacy), two themes which strike similar chords today.

  • Anne

    St. Benedict is a powerful intercessor against evil. I believe the St. Benedict medal is second only to the Miraculous Medal in popularity. I like the commentary at Catholicity, “We have a man named Joseph. We have a pope named Benedict. Bad guys, on earth, and under the earth, you’re in for a scrap. Expect the world, the flesh and the devil to commence their attacks upon Joseph/Benedict in short order.” We must pray for our Holy Father!

  • TheAnchoress

    Anne, that is a really EXCELLENT point, and I am sorry I didn’t bring it up, myself. St. Benedict medals are sacramentals used in exorcism, and Benedict is a powerful protector against evil.

    Thank you for reminding me.

  • urthshu

    Also, his birthday falls on the feast of….

    …St. Benedict Joseph LaBre, the Beggar of Rome.

    Not really sure how that ties in, if at all. Interesting coincidence of names, though.

  • Anne Elliot

    Arrrggghh! I’ve been reading so much today, I haven’t even touched The Corner!!!

    As always, great links & commentary.

  • Christine

    According to St malachy’s prophecy, the Pope following John Paul II would be the next to the last pope before WWIII. Because St malachy refered to his reign as the “glory of the olive”, many people thought he would be of the Benedictine order. I was stunned yesterday (4/19/05) to learn that our new pope has taken the name Benedict XVI. Catholicplanet web site predicted 11/04 that the new Pope would take this name based on end time prophecy of St Malachy. One more Pope to go before WWIII.