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St Benedict and the Benedictines



St. Benedict, the founder of the Ordo Sancti Benedicti (OSB) or Order of St. Benedict, was born in the Umbrian town of Nursia, near Spoleto, Italy, in the waning years of the Roman Empire, AD 480. He hailed from a well-established family and is believed to have a twin sister, St. Scholastica. Acclaimed as the Father of Western Monasticism, St. Benedict was declared the Patron of Europe in 1964 by Pope Paul VI.


While studying in Rome, St. Benedict became disillusioned with the worldliness he saw around. Eventually he took to solitude in a cave in Subiaco where . He established ten monasteries, including one at Monte Cassino where he wrote the Holy Rule, an embodiment of the balance between prayer and work. According to tradition, he died in Monte Cassino about the year AD 547.


The Benedictines reached far within Europe and spread the ideals of the Holy Rule. They likewise engaged in teaching the young and serving the poor and the sick. The Benedictine influence was so great that the period 6th – 13th centuries of Europe was referred to by historians as Benedictine centuries.


Last Updated (Wednesday, 25 January 2017 10:25)