Saint Benedict of Nursia was very pious and upright in life and endowed with the gift of God. From his childhood he shone with innocence of heart and adorned himself with the restraint of the body, not bending his soul to any fleshly will, for, still young, he hated the lust and excitement of the body, the lusts and desires of the world, and he considered this world and its blossoms as a dry tree.
St. Benedict of Nursia is considered the patron saint of schoolchildren, teachers, miners, blacksmiths and the dying, and is called to help in painful illnesses. He was born in 480, in a province of Italy, and passed away on 14 March 543, in the Monastery of Monte Casino, at the age of 63. He is considered to be the father of the Western monastic life and the “patriarch of monks” in the West. In 1964, Pope Paul VI named him “Patron of Europe”, and in 1980, Pope John Paul II declared him “Co-Patron of Europe”, together with Saints Cyril and Methodius.
In the year in which he was to depart forever from this temporal life and go to God, he announced to his disciples, both those with him and those far away, the day of his holy end.
Who is Saint Benedict?
Saint Benedict of Nursia had the spirit before sight, of healing, of casting out demons, of raising the dead; he appeared to some at a great distance, on the face, and to others he appeared in a dream. When he placed the sign of the Holy Cross on top of it, the glass broke into pieces.
Saint Benedict was a priest who was born in the year 480, in the town of Nursia, in the Roman province of Umbria, today in Italy, to very wealthy and noble parents. His parents sent him to schools in Rome, where he studied for a while. At that time, the city was going through a great moral decline. The young man left the city and his fellow students and withdrew to the mountains of Subiaco, where he became a hermit for three years.
There he was found by the monk Roman, who raised him to monasticism with the name Benedict. At the request of the obstii, he was appointed abbot of the Vicovara Monastery.
Biography of Saint Benedict
Full name: Benedict of Nursia
Date of birth: 0480 AD
Year of death: 0547 AD
The thread of life: 67 years old
Place of birth: Norcia, Umbria, Italy
Life accomplishments: He was the initiator of The Benedictine Order.
Death cause: Natural causes.
Read also: What happened at the Council of Chalcedon?
What does Benedict mean?
As a young man, Benedict left his parental home and gave up all his wealth. He leaves with his nanny for a deserted place where he will find God, who gives him the power to perform miracles and healings.
In Latin, Benedict means “blessed”. Our holy Father Benedict comes from the Roman lands, from the province of Nursia, belonging to a faithful and learned family.
Nearly all the wonderful deeds Benedict does throughout his life are widely recorded in his life story. Thus, we, all Christians, can see all the miracles he performed: he raised the dead, prophesied and spoke to people as far away as they would have been.
What is Benedict of Nursia known for?
Saint Benedict founded the monastic order of the Benedictines, which still exists today in the Roman Catholic Church. He reorganized Western cenobitic monasticism and composed monastic rules inspired by the writings of St. Basil the Great, Blessed Augustine, and St. John Cassian. His monastic rules, which are trustworthy sources of spirituality, have transformed Europe over the centuries.
The most well-known fact for which St. Benedict is known, according to historical writings, is that he founded twelve monasteries and placed twelve monks. In 529, St. Benedict founded the Monastery of Monte Casino, which is still in Italy today. In the same region, his sister, Sister Scholastica, ran a convent of nuns.
Benedict prophesied his end six days before his death. He passed away on March 14, 543, in the Monastery of Monte Casino, at 63.
What does St. Benedict protect you from?
Saint Benedict was born in Nursia, a province of Italy, in 480 AD, to wealthy and noble parents. He received his ordination to monasticism from a Roman monk. He retreats to a rocky mountain, where he remains in a cave for over three years.
According to historical sources, St. Benedict can protect you from evil spirits and demons with the help of foresight that he has. Saint Benedict of Nursia had the confidence before sight, of healing, of casting out demons, of raising the dead; he appeared to some at a great distance on their faces, and to others, he appeared in their dreams.
Parts of his honored relics are in the Casino Monastery (Italy) and the Fleury Monastery (France).
Why does the order of Benedictine monks exist only among Catholics?
Many people often wonder why Benedictine monks are only found among Catholics. And if the order is wrong, how come we honor St Benedict as a Saint? And if it is not bad, why is it not found in our Order?
The Benedictine Order exists only among Catholics because only among Catholics are there Benedictines and the papacy. The existence of a Benedictine order is not wrong as long as it respects the ordinance of Saint Benedict. The Catholics changed the apostolic teaching (the Pope declaring himself infallible and changing the Creed, where they added the notion of “purgatory”). Through the Great Schism, they became heretics, which makes their order belong to a heretical confession (the Catholic confession).
In the Orthodox Church, there is no such order, and it is not necessary because the example and writings of the Holy Fathers govern the whole monastic life.
What kind of laws has Benedict established?
Until the current reform of the ecclesiastical calendar, St Benedict was commemorated on 21 March, the day on which the Patriarch of Western monasticism died in 547 and was buried with his sister Scholastica, who had died forty days earlier, in the tomb near the monastery on Mount Cassino (in southern Italy).
A practical and far-sighted man, Benedict summarised the fundamental laws of monastic life, the “Regula vitae monastical,” in an energizing motto: “Ora et labora” – “Pray and work”; in doing so, he restored Christian life and asceticism the character of contemplation united with action, as it flows from the spirit and letter of the Gospel.
In 1964, Pope Paul VI declared St Benedict the principal patron of Europe, thus fulfilling an act of well-deserved gratitude to the saint to whom Europe owes many of its values and realities.
Key Verse related to Saint Benedict
“Whenever you begin any good work, you should first make a most pressing appeal to Christ our Lord to bring it to perfection.”Benedict of Nursia
What was the emblem of the monastery, according to Benedict?
Benedict and many of the young disciples retreated south, near the city of Naples, and made their home on a cliff of Mount Cassino. Here they tore down the temples of the gods Apollo and Jupiter, left there from ancient times, and built the first enclosed monastery with four-sided walls, like a fortress, but open to the light from above, like a great reservoir that receives something life-giving from heaven and pours it out on the whole world.
According to historical sources, St. Benedict defined the emblem of the monastery as the cross, the book, and the plow. It became the expression of a new way of understanding Christian asceticism, prayer, and work, to build a contemporary spiritual and material society on the ruins of the Roman world.
Over the centuries, flocks of people hardened in prayer and work would start from the nest on Monte Cassino. They opened hundreds of similar settlements throughout Europe and later on in other continents, settlements that remained living centers of faith, culture, and civilization in times of great turmoil. Saint Benedict became one of the great benefactors of Europe, the Church, and humanity through his disciples and followers.
What is The Benedictine Order?
It was St Benedict himself who wrote down the daily duties of the monks.
The Benedictine Order is the oldest monastic order in the world. It bears the name of the order’s founder, Saint Benedict of Nursia. “Ora et labora – pray and work” was the motto, to which were added the principles of righteousness and obedience. Benedictine monastic congregations were directly under the observation of the pope. They had autonomy from local bishops, an important fact that allowed the order to develop in a specific way.
By building fortified churches and monasteries, deforestation, and developing severe agricultural server establishing schools, notaries, and copy and record-keeping services, they are considered the great pioneer educators of Europe in the Middle Ages.
What were the three vows of the Benedict rule?
Familiar with the world of the Grail Knights through a good knowledge of the Wagnerian Parsifal, I found it to a great extent in everyday life and in the sacred energy of the Benedictine monks, who, here in Solesmes, represented a kind of aristocracy of the order. The procession that preceded or followed lunch and dinner had the character of a parade.
According to Christian sources, the three vows of the Benedictine prayer refer to the life of the monks were based on three principles:
- the fealty
Benedict introduced the modest and frugal way of life of the monks in the monastery as a celibate life, economical feeding, where the meat of the patrupeds was forbidden. The reception into the monastic order was strictly controlled and was carried out after passing some tests, verifying the candidate’s seriousness and sincerity.
The Benedictine Order had a history of a millennium and a half behind it, ever since the monk Benedict of Nursia founded the first, very modest community, at the basis of which stood only two imperatives: “Ora et labor,” that is, “pray – with all the many forms of this spiritual activity – and work,” from the cultivation of the earth to the subtlest forms of spiritual creation.
What color is the Benedictine robe?
Saint Benedict set aside time for prayer, meditation, work, and sleep. Reception into the monastic order was strictly controlled and was done after passing checks proving the seriousness and sincerity of the candidate.
According to historical accounts, The Benedictine robe is black with a white border near the hood, sleeves, or lapels. The female version of the order is the Benedictine sisters.
The Cistercians had a different way of settling Europe. They decided to drain the marshes and build their abbeys only on such sites.
- One day, Benedict, the sign-bearer, was resting in his cell, and the monk Plachida went to the brook to fetch water; but the vessel slipped from his hand and fell into the stream, and, wanting to grab the boat, he slipped and fell into the water. The water, being too swift, carried him into the middle of the brook, and he was so far away from it that he was in danger.
- Blessed Benedict, keeping the order of the monastery and not allowing the brothers to do their wills, as they saw the holiness of the curate and the hermit’s obstinate hermitage not befitting their wickedness, they began to argue among themselves and repent that they had asked for the abbot of a man so hermit-like and considerate.
- He passed away on March 14, 543, in the Monastery of Monte Casino, at 63.
The Orthodox Church celebrates the feast of the Most Holy Benedict of Nursia on the fourteenth day of March. When Benedict was about to die, a man dressed all in white and shining with light near the humble men asked them if they knew whose road they were walking on. They answered that they did not know, but the one who had appeared said, “This is the road on which the beloved Benedict is ascending to heaven.” After the two brothers recovered from the vision, they understood that Saint Benedict had given his life.
May you have only sunshine and joy in your hearts! To better understand the Benedictine message, you can play the following Quizlet. Have a good day!
Trivia about Saint Benedict
- Bauer, N. (2005). Three Perspectives on Obedience: Benedict of Nursia, Ignatius of Loyola, and the 1983 Canon Law. Jurist, 65, 55.
- Bekker, C. J. (2009). Leading with the Head bowed down: Lessons in Leadership Humility from the Rule of St. Benedict of Nursia. Inner Resources for Leaders, 1(3), 1-10.
- Grün, A. (2006). Benedict of Nursia: His Message for Today. Liturgical Press.
- Reid, S. (2001). The Story of Benedict of Nursia.
- Robinson-Brown, J. A. (2017). ‘Lights in a Benighted Land’: A Critical Examination of the Christian Rules of Benedict of Nursia and John Wesley.