The Benedictine Oblate
"If you want to have, in life and in death, a mighty protector, choose as your guide and model the great Patriarch of the monks, the wise regenerator of customs, the invincible against whom the spirit of darkness can do nothing. But if you want his own protection, seek above all to deserve it, imitating its virtues, especially its love of purity and its fidelity in carrying out with exactness the commandments of the Law of God and of the Church."
Manual of the Devotee of São Bento
"Oblates" are those who wish to serve the Order of St. Benedict in a more perfect way, more rooted in the Holy Rules of their congregation, serving God so much more perfectly precisely because the Rule's ultimate aim is to elevate souls to the Creator.
Just as in the past, militant orders of knights and, to a lesser extent, third orders developed within the Church, the spirit that dominated them was to bring to the secular world the way of life previously restricted to the cloisters. The glorious performance of the main Catholic orders around the world aroused this interest from fathers of families, mothers of families, the elderly, countless young people, in playing a militant role in their state in defending the principles of the Catholic orders. Attentive to the instant requests of their children, the congregations, including that of São Bento, soon ratified this cordial appeal of the seculars, bringing rules and ways to practice the monastic life outside the cloisters.
The oblature manuals ( see our bookstore for copies of these books) are generally a perfect guide on how to consecrate yourself to Our Lord through work and prayer in your state, describing, among other things, how to prepare for receiving the oblature, such as the candidate must address the prior of the monastery, the main prayers of the oblate and the good works he must perform, the main exercises of piety for a servant of St. Benedict. The oblature, in itself, does not oblige under penalty of sin to any duty, but it makes us know how pleasing to God is his sweet servitude, as is slavery to the Blessed Virgin by the method of St. Louis Maria Grignion de Montfort.
Oblates receive significant graces upon their perpetual profession (precisely, all the graces of the Order of St. Benedict) and also receive a name that qualifies them for the mission given by God, chosen by the Prior. Anonymous, as well as the monks, render no less service to the Church: they pray, offer their sacrifices and help in a temporal and spiritual way in the propagation of the Holy Gospel through the offering of their own life, being oblate. The minimum conditions required to become an oblate are: to be baptized, to live honorably in your State and to enjoy good public reputation.
For those who wish to participate in this elite of secular serfs, they must contact the Santa Cruz Monastery and request their ticket, which will be appreciated by the Prior for proper acceptance. Shortly thereafter, the candidate will undergo the novitiate (a short period of probation) and perpetual profession (given after the Prior observes the candidate's predisposition to do so).