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On Gregory’s portrayal of Benedict, see M. dal Santo, Debating the Saints’ Cults in the Age of Gregory the Great (New York, 2012), pp. 37–84. 3 On the attribution to Benedict of Aniane for the introduction of the Trina Oratio and the Office of the Dead, see below, Chapter 1 at footnote 64 and footnote 73 respectively. 4 This chapter will argue that along with this development, and particularly as monastic rules increasingly came to define the monastic state, there arose a fundamental redefinition of the nature of intercessory prayer, from a ‘power’ (an ability wielded to display one’s sanctity and privileged status) to a ‘prescription’ (an activity established and directed by a master for his disciple for the purposes of his spiritual welfare).

To which Gregory responded, ‘Those who cling to God with devotion usually produced miracles in two ways, as circumstances demand. 2 In the world of Carolingian monasticism, we are indeed very far from the solo holy man wielding his mediatorial power autonomously, at his own will. On the contrary, the intercessory activity of Carolingian monks lay fixed to a rigid timetable. 2, ed. A. de Vogüé and P. Antin, Dialogues, SC 260 (Paris, 1978), pp. 220–2, trans. C. White, Early Christian Lives (London, 1998), p.

81 Instead, this book argues from the basis of an ancient monastic ideal which found new expression in the Carolingian emphasis on the public service of liturgical intercession. Rather than exploring questions concerning the efficacy of monastic intercession (why and how it was sought) or the supply and demand of it (by whom and for whom), studies of which there is no shortage, it asks how an ‘intercessory-type monasticism’ bolstered the monastic vocation of moral conversion. The chief concern of the monk was to seek and find perfection in God; I will demonstrate in this study that the elaborate liturgical intercession which characterized early medieval monasticism was coherent with this goal.

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