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London parish to celebrate canonization of Blessed Bernard Tolomei

 The Benedictine Congregation of Monte Oliveto has ministered to the parish of Christ the King, Cockfosters, since its foundation in 1936.

After the recognition of another miracle through his intercession, the founder of the Congregation, Blessed Bernard Tolomei, will be canonised on Sunday, 26 April by Pope Benedict XVI.

Giovanni Tolomei was born in Siena, in Tuscany, on 10 May 1272. and took the name Bernardo, after St Bernard of Clairvaux, when he became a monk. Initially educated at a Dominican convent, he later entered the University of Siena. At the age of eighteen, he obtained a degree in philosophy, followed later by a doctorate in law. He became a very influential personality in Siena and was made a Knight of the Empire by the Emperor Rudolph I.

His life thereafter can best be summarised by quoting and enlarging upon the inscriptions that can be seen on the mural of Blessed Bernard near the Parish Offices at the Church of Christ the King. At forty-one years of age he "Leaves the world to seek God" by following an eremitical life for six years .and "At Monte Oliveto he founds his first monastery under the Rule of St. Benedict". It is then stated that "He has a vision of generations of his monks wearing the white habit in honour of Our Lady going up to heaven"
Finally, "In 1348 he leads his monks from the monastery to care for the sick and he himself dies a victim of the plague and his charity." He was beatified in 1644 by Pope Urban VIII.

A card bearing a photograph of the mural will be produced with a prayer, for distribution to all those attending Mass at Christ the King on the weekend of 25th/26th April and after each Mass there will be refreshments served in the Hall. Additionally, a meal will be prepared on the evening of the 25th by the youth with entertainment for the children of the parish.

Dom Bernard Akoeso, OSB,
Superior, Monastery of Christ the King.