Appreciation by Manfred Rekowski, President of the Protestant Church in the Rhineland on 20 March 2014
The Benedict Prize of Mönchengladbach keeps alive the memory of a man who is also an important witness of faith for Protestant Christians. For Benedict recommended a synthesis of meaningful work and prayer. This makes him a counsellor worth considering also and especially for our time. Benedict of Nursia (480 – 547) lived in a time of upheaval and in the experience of extensive migratory movements. Perhaps it was precisely this restlessness that made Benedict demand inner and outer constancy for monastic existence. The Western monasticism that Benedict left a lasting mark on was not only an offer of a “way of life” that is supported and determined by our Christian faith and commandment of love. It became an authoritative preserver, co-shaper and tradent of our Western culture throughout Europe. Benedict has therefore rightly been called an ambassador of peace, a teacher of civilisation and a messenger of faith*.
*from the declaration of Pope Paul VI on 24.10.1964 in Montecassino (elevation of Benedict to “Patron Saint of Europe”)