Saint Benedict of Norcia (Nursia) is the “Father of Western Monasticism”. He lived from 480 AD to 543 AD. According to tradition, St. Scholastica was his twin sister. He became a hermit and founded 12 monasteries at Subiaco, Italy and eventually founded the great monastery of Monte Cassino, which lies between Rome and Naples. He wrote the Rule containing precepts for his monks which began to be known as the “Rule of Saint Benedict”. His Rule was the foundational document for thousands of religious communities in the Middle Ages. To this day, The Rule of St. Benedict is the most common and influential Rule used by monasteries and monks, more than 1,400 years after its writing. He is the Patron of Europe, Norcia (Italy) and of monks and students. His Feast is celebrated on July 11th.
Dear St. Benedict, you are a ‘blessing’ indeed, as your name indicates. Practicing what you preached, you founded the monastic tradition of the West by joining prayer to labor for God – both liturgical and private prayer. Help all religious to follow their Rule and be true to their vocation. May they labor and pray for the world to the greater glory of God. Amen.