Beuronese Murals - The Death of St. Benedict

The Death of St. BenedictDeath of St. Benedict

The "Death of St. Benedict" on the east wall is set in the chapel of this monastery. Benedict is the central figure of the panel, standing with his arms uplifted, while his disciples kneel in prayer and sorrow at his feet. A priest, accompanied by an acolyte, stands on the left side of the mural, and on the other side is a crowned angel holding a victor's crown.

Gregory the Great tells us: "On the sixth day he [Benedict] had his disciples carry him into the chapel. There he fortified himself against death by receiving the Lord's Body and Blood. As he supported his weak limbs with the help of his disciples, he stood with hands raised to heaven and drew his last breath while praying."

The priest and acolyte probably are present as Eucharistic ministers; the angel with the victor's crown suggests Benedict's triumph over death and eventual entrance into glory.

Benedict's posture and uplifted hands resemble Moses praying on the mountain. His dedication to prayer in the last moments of life is perhaps reminiscent of St. Martin of Tours, who, according to Sulpicius Severus, was determined to pray until his last breath was drawn.

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