THE LIFE OF SAINT BENEDICT
The life of St. Benedict is told rather simply, yet his example and writings are filled with wisdom for all ages, including the present.
Benedict was born in Nursia, Italy, around the year 480, and was the son of a noble family. As a youth, he went off to Rome to study. At that time, Rome was showing signs of moral and political decay. Turning away from such Corruption, Benedict discontinued his studies and withdrew from Rome and went into solitude.
For three years Benedict remained in solitude in a cave. Through a life of fasting and praycr, he sought to grow closer to God. Being such a holy person, the local people would seek him out. They desired that he pass on the message of Christ to them during a time in history that was greatly in need of the Gospel.
In the year 529, after having lived these years as a monk, Benedict established a monastic foundation where men, who wanted to live a life in common and together seek out the Lord, could come to dwell. This new "school of the Lord" came to rest on a hill near Cassino in Italy. Hence, the monastery came to be known as Monte Cassino. There, Benedict established his community and wrote a rule, that is, a guide to be followed in the daily lives of his monks. Benedict guided the community as the father, also known as the abbot, until his death around the year 547.
Since this humble beginning of the Benedictine monks, that is, those vowing to live their lives under the Rule of St Benedict, the religious order has spread throughout the world down to the present day. From Monte Casino many other Benedictine communities have been established.