Benedict of Nursia

founder of Christian monasticism, founder of the Benedictine order

Benedict of Nursia (c. 480543 or 547) was the founder of the Benedictine Order and hence of mediaeval monasticism.

Benedict of Nursia


  • Listen carefully, my child, to your master's precepts, and incline the ear of your heart. Receive willingly and carry out effectively your loving father's advice, that by the labor of obedience you may return to Him from whom you had departed by the sloth of disobedience.
    • Rule of St. Benedict: opening words
  • Every age and degree of understanding should have its proper measure of discipline. With regard to boys and adolescents, therefore, or those who cannot understand the seriousness of the penalty of excommunication, whenever such as these are delinquent let them be subjected to severe fasts or brought to terms by harsh beatings, that they may be cured.
    • Rule of St. Benedict: Chapter 30: How Boys Are to Be Corrected
  • There are times when good words are to be left unsaid out of esteem for silence.
  • Renounce yourself in order to follow Christ (Matt 16:24; Luke 9:23); discipline your body (1 Cor 9:27); do not pamper yourself, but love fasting. You must relieve the lot of the poor, clothe the naked, visit the sick (Matt 25:36), and bury the dead. Go to help the troubled and console the sorrowing. Your way of acting should be different from the world’s way; the love of Christ must come before all else.

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