Benson, Richard Meux

(July 6, 1824-Jan. 14, 1915). A founder of the Society of St. John the Evangelist. He was born in London. Benson received the M.A. at Christ Church, Oxford, in 1849. He was ordained deacon in 1848 and priest in 1849. In 1850 he became vicar of Cowley, two miles from Oxford. A sermon preached by John Keble at Wantage on July 22, 1863, moved him to think about founding a community for men. On Dec. 27, 1866, Benson, Simeon Wilberforce O'Neill, and Charles Chapman Grafton founded the Society of St. John the Evangelist. Each took a life vow of celibacy, poverty, and obedience. In Nov. 1870 Benson went to the United States and established a branch house in Boston. He served as superior of the order, 1866-1890.

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