VATICAN CITY, JULY 13, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Here is the description of the St. Benedict Patron of Europe Association, which appears in the Directory of International Associations of the Faithful, published by the Pontifical Council for the Laity.
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Official Name: St. Benedict Patron of Europe Association
Acronym: ASBPE (Associatio Sanctus Benedictus Patronus Europae)
History: ASBPE was founded after the proclamation of St. Benedict as the patron of Europe in 1964 by Paul VI in his apostolic letter Pacis Nuntius.
Considering the impetus that St. Benedict gave to all the peoples of Europe and to the Christian European order and its spiritual unity, the main purpose of the association is to promote and disseminate Christian culture in a spiritually united Europe.
Its purposes were further confirmed in John Paul II’s apostolic letter Sanctorum Altrix on the topical relevance of the Benedictine Rule and the Christian identity of European culture, calling attention to a new evangelization fuelled by the lifeblood that has permeated the peoples of Europe and the formation of the European nations.
On July 11, 1988 the Pontifical Council for the Laity issued a decree recognizing the Associazione San Benedetto Patrono d’Europa as an international association of the faithful of Pontifical Right.
Identity: In compliance with the Rule of St. Benedict, the members of ASBPE aspire to put nothing before Christ and unconditionally to obey the commandments of God the Creator. They nurture their personal prayer life by assiduous reading of Holy Scripture, they draw lessons to guide their lives from the traditions of the Western and Eastern Fathers, they are faithfully devoted to the Church and defend its rights and cultivate its traditions. They play an active part in the sacramental and liturgical life of their own local Church, and undertake to help it meet its needs.
Guided by the Church hierarchy they help to pave the way for the unity of Christians in the Catholic Church, undertake to take to heart the principles of the Church’s social teaching, advocate and tenaciously defend the sanctity of the family, concern themselves with the development and subsistence of the Catholic school as an effective means of disseminating Christian culture.
Lastly, they promote the use of the Latin language, which was once the common language of the whole of Europe and an excellent medium of communication, culture, science and education.
Organization: The members of the ASBPE, religious and lay, are co-opted to membership after giving a written undertaking to live and act according to the principles of the association.
ASBPE is governed collegially by a steering committee composed of 12 members. The association is headed by a president, assisted by two vice presidents and a general secretary which, among other tasks, organizes the annual international congresses in conjunction with Benedictine abbeys on issues relating to Christian life in Europe.
The president, the two vice presidents and the general secretary are elected by the steering committee. Members of ASBPE living in the same city or region meet in local groups. As far as possible, all the members frequent Benedictine or Cistercian monasteries with which they establish spiritual relations.
Membership: ASBPE has over 500 members in 14 countries as follows: Europe (13), North America (1).
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© Copyright 2006 — Libreria Editrice Vaticana [adapted]