Saint Benedict

Spiritual life

Saint Benedict

Benedict of Nursia lived in Italy in the sixth century (he died around 560). A man in search of God, in the practice of the Gospel, he first led a solitary life as a hermit; then joined by disciples, he organized them into a community and settled in Monte Cassino, between Rome and Naples.

There and for them, he wrote his Rule for monks, inspired by other previous rules, but strongly marked by his personality.

This Rule , which specifies some standards of conduct for monks, is like a summary of the Gospel. Man or woman, whoever wants to seek God would find there a balanced program of life – prayer (community and personal), work (manual or intellectual), fraternal community lived in attention to others. Flexibility and moderation (which is also called “discretion”) make the originality of this Rule , as well as the stated concern to respect people and to adapt to concrete situations.

In the ninth century, his Rule will impose itself throughout the West. This is why he is often called the Patriarch of Western monks.

He is one of the patrons of Europe.