St Benedict, Patron of Europe

Today, we celebrate the wonderful Feast of St Benedict.

St Benedict was born in Nursia, now known as Norsia, in the region of Umbria, central Italy in 480. He was born into a distinguished family and studied in Rome. At around 20 years of age, he became disenchanted with life in society. St Benedict decided to live as a hermit in a small town but found no difference between living as a hermit in a small town and in a large city. He then decided to live in a cave in the mountains of Subiaco and attracted many others to this way of life gradually forming 12 communities of monks around Subiaco. However, some found his way of life too strict and left him.

St Benedict with some faithful monks moved to Monte Cassino, where they built a larger monastery. He established a rule of life for his monks and their day was organised around liturgical prayer, study, manual work and community life. The Abbot was the common Father of the monastic community and leader. St Benedict is known as the Father of Western Monasticism. He died around 550 Ad.

Pope Honorius III canonised him in 1220 and Pope Paul VI in 1964 made him Patron of Europe.

Quotes from St Benedict

“If you are really a servant of Jesus Christ, let the chain of love hold you firm in your resolve, not a chain of iron.”

“Idleness is the enemy of the soul.”

“The first degree of humility is obedience without delay.”

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