History of origins
Since 1968, the “Benediktspreis” (Benedict Prize) has been awarded in Moenchengladbach by the “Bürger- und Heimatverein” (Citizens’ and Local History Association) in cooperation with the city of Moenchengladbach to personalities who have made outstanding contributions in the fields of research, art and science and who have rendered outstanding services to the preservation of local history and customs. Due to the dissolution of the citizens’ association, this prize was awarded for the last time in 2010. Its continuation was not assured.
Moenchengladbach citizens did not want to resign themselves to this situation and in 2012 started thinking about a new beginning, which led to the founding of the association “Benediktpreis von Mönchengladbach e. V.” in June 2013. In doing so, they acted in the conviction that a great opportunity is always perceived with the sign-setting award of a prize that bears the name of Benedict of Nursia and is associated with his thinking: By honouring outstanding personalities and their respective exemplary achievements, the effectiveness of responsible, value-based action can be made public again and again. This would counteract the trend towards non-acceptance of binding values and even arbitrariness by highlighting the importance of fundamental and historically grown values for our coexistence.
Thus, the idea of using the “ora et labora” rule, which has been in force since the founding of the Benedictine Order, as the basis for the award of the renewed Benedict Prize, arose from a consideration of the attempt to reconcile faith and reason, which has been successful up to the present day. Against the background of tradition and present-day effectiveness, future awards are to be given to personalities whose value-oriented actions against the backdrop of the Christian occidental experience in
Christian occidental experience in a special way. This is expressed above all in fundamental works and/or deeds – also by younger people – in science, economics, politics, society and culture, which are exemplary for the future.
The prize is independent of religious confession and political party affiliation.
The respective prize winner is determined by a board of trustees to be elected by the association “Benediktpreis von Mönchengladbach”. The board of trustees should, as far as possible, reflect the entire spectrum from which the prize winners can come according to the statutes.
The biennial award ceremony is to take place around 21 March (Benedict’s Day), for the first time on 21 March 2014.