St. Benedict

st-benedictThe son of a member of the Roman nobility, he was born at Nursia, near Spoleto, about the year 480. While still quite young, he left Rome, giving up his studies and career in the world and retired to a place called Subiaco, where he lived as a hermit, receiving the monastic habit from Romanus, monk of a neighboring monastery. After three years of eremitical life, was made abbot of Vicovaro, but the monks, finding his way of life too strict, strove to poison him. He left them and founded, first, twelve monasteries at Subiaco, and later the great Abbey of Monte Cassino where he wrote the Holy Rule. He died in 543. In mediaeval Rome there were more than eighty Benedictine monasteries charged with the singing of the Divine Office in the chief basilicas. St. Gregory the Great was the first to encourage the universal devotion to St. Benedict, when less that fifty years after the death of the Saint, he wrote his life and made known his rule. It was owing to him that this immortal code of perfection, kept for great security in the papal archives at the Lateran, very soon superseded in Europe all other earlier forms of monastic life and became the Regula Monachorum, the eminently Roman and papal rule of the monastic devout life. To the Benedictines is conceded a proper Mass with the sequence and Preface proper.

(Source: Fr. Lasance, The New Roman Missal)

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