Feast Day: 11 July
Patronage: People in religious orders, Poison sufferers, Monks, Europe
St Benedict of Nursia OSB was born in 480 AD and died in 548 AD.
He founded twelve communities for monks at Subiaco, Lazio, Italy, before moving to Monte Cassino in the mountains of central Italy. The Order of Saint Benedict is of later origin.
Benedict’s main achievement, his “Rule of Saint Benedict”, contains a set of rules for his monks to follow. It captured a unique sense of balance, moderation and reasonableness which influenced many Christian religious communities founded throughout the Middle Ages.
His golden rule of Ora et Labora was prayer and work – monks each day devoted eight hours to prayer, eight hours to sleep, and eight hours to manual work, sacred reading and/or works of charity.
As a result, his Rule became one of the most influential religious rules in Western Christendom.
For this reason, Benedict is regarded as the founder of Western Christian monasticism.