Sing up, frogs!

Benno (feast day 16th June) of Meissen was a powerful figure in his day. His views at times conflicted with the authorities and once he ended up in prison for a year. He was a bishop in twelfth century Germany.

frogBenno’s life wasn’t all conflict and dispute. He loved music and the story is told of how one day he was walking in the fields when his personal love of fine music was offended by the noise of frogs croaking. He was irritated by their song and ordered them to be silent. As he walked on his conscience struck him. The words of the song the Benedicite came to his mind. “Oh all whales and all that move in the waters, bless ye the Lord.”

He realised that the frogs’ way of doing things may be as acceptable to God as his own way.

Full of shame he returned to the marsh and said ‘O frogs, sing on to the Lord your song of thanksgiving.’ The frogs began their chorus again.

Actually similar versions of this story are told of other saints too – notably St Anthony of Padua and St Herve. It is significant that the legend is seen as important to the Church, and has continued to be told.

The message is simple, and valid for us today. Honour all creation. Don’t despise those who do good things differently, encourage them. Give them space too to sing their song of thanksgiving in whichever way they find best.


About stchrysostoms

St Chrysostom’s is an Anglican (Church of England) parish church in Manchester, UK. We’re an inclusive, diverse and welcoming faith community rejoicing in our Anglo Catholic tradition, where people of many differing backgrounds make friends. Find our Facebook group at
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