About St. Benedict

Saint Benedict, along with his twin sister, Saint Scholastica, was born in the Umbrian hill town of Norcia in Italy around 480. He was sent to Rome for studies at a time when the Roman empire was reeling from barbarian invasions.

Benedict left Rome to become a hermit for three years at Subiaco in the mountains northeast of Rome. As people sought him out for spiritual guidance he developed a community of monks.

Eventually the monks moved farther south to Monte Cassino, high above the road going from Rome to Naples. Here Benedict wrote a Rule which brought together the wisdom of monastic tradition with his own deep understanding of human beings. Benedict died around 547.

His monastery at Monte Cassino was destroyed three times over the centuries but continues in existence today. The bodies of Benedict and Scholastica are buried beneath the high altar of the church. Saint Benedict was declared to be the Patron of Europe by Pope Paul VI. The church celebrates the feast of Saint Benedict on July 11th. Benedictines also observe the older feast of his death on March 21st. Saint Scholastica is honored on February 10th.

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