Benedict of Nursia (Author of The Rule of Saint Benedict)Benedict of Nursia (Italian: San Benedetto da Norcia) (c. 480 543 or 547) is a Christian saint, honoured by the Catholic Church and the Anglican Church as the patron saint of Europe and students.
Benedict founded twelve communities for monks at Subiaco, Italy (about 40 miles (64 km) to the east of Rome), before moving to Monte Cassino in the mountains of southern Italy. The Order of St Benedict is of later origin and, moreover, not an order as commonly understood but merely a confederation of autonomous congregations.
Benedicts main achievement is his Rule of Saint Benedict, containing precepts for his monks. It is heavily influenced by the writings of John Cassian, and shows strong affinity with the Rule of the Master. But it also has a unique spirit of balance, moderation and reasonableness (?????????, epieikeia), and this persuaded most religious communities founded throughout the Middle Ages to adopt it. As a result, his Rule became one of the most influential religious rules in Western Christendom. For this reason, Benedict is often called the founder of western monasticism.
The first monks who tried to live under Benedict's direction hated his regimen, so much so they plotted to kill their abbot. They put poison in a glass of wine and offered it to Benedict. Before he took it, he blessed it, as was the custom. According to the story told by Pope Gregory I Benedict's biographer , when Benedict made the sign of the cross over the wine glass, it shattered, and the wine spilled to the floor. Benedict, Gregory wrote, "perceived that the glass had in it the drink of death," called his monks together, said he forgave them, reminded them that he doubted from the beginning whether he was a suitable abbot for them, and concluded, "Go your ways, and seek some other father suitable to your own conditions, for I intend not now to stay any longer amongst you. We don't know if Benedict was overly strict or if his first monks were simply obstinate. But years later, when Benedict wrote a rule of life for another group of monks, it turned out to be a model of monastic moderation and one reason monasticism blossomed in the West.
St Benedict of Nursia wrote a series of instructions for his monastery at Monte Cassino, outlining instructions for a life of work and prayer in the monastic community. It is still used as the basis for monastic life in many orders today. As a result, St Benedict is considered the father of Western monasticism. Benedict was born into a noble Roman family in Nursia, a small town near Spoleto. He grew up in Rome, and was in the middle of his studies when he decided to leave Rome and settle in Enfide, in the Simbruini mountains about 40 miles from Rome.
In , in view of the work of monks following the Benedictine Rule in the evangelization and civilization of so many European countries in the Middle Ages , Pope Paul VI proclaimed him the patron saint of all Europe. Benedict was a religious reformer who lived in Italy in the late s and early s. He is the patron saint of Europe. His Rule carefully integrated prayer, manual labor, and study into a well-rounded daily routine that has shaped Christianity for nearly 1, years. Benedict and his twin sister, St. He gives no dates, however. Benedict was born of good family and was sent by his parents to Roman schools.
Please help support the mission of New Advent and get the full contents of this website as an instant download. Founder of western monasticism , born at Nursia, c. The only authentic life of Benedict of Nursia is that contained in the second book of St.
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Benedict of Nursia circa March 2, circa March 21, was a Christian monk who founded more than a dozen communities for monks in Italy. His most enduring achievement was the Rule of Saint Benedict, which became one of the most influential sets of religious rules in Middle Age Europe and earned him recognition as the originator of Western Christian monasticism. Dialogues was focused on the spiritual legacy of the holy figures it covered, but reportedly Pope Gregory strove to base his accounts on the most accurate testimony possible. However, historical accuracy was not the primary goal of the biography, and some of the information is likely not verifiable. He had a sister, Scholastica who also became a Christian saint , and at least one tradition claims they were twins.
The Order of Saint Benedict is of later origin and, moreover, not an "order" as commonly understood but merely a confederation of autonomous congregations. Benedict's main achievement, his " Rule of Saint Benedict ", contains a set of rules for his monks to follow. Heavily influenced by the writings of John Cassian , it shows strong affinity with the Rule of the Master. As a result, his Rule became one of the most influential religious rules in Western Christendom. For this reason, Giuseppe Carletti regarded Benedict as the founder of Western Christian monasticism. Gregory's account of this saint's life is not, however, a biography in the modern sense of the word.