This past Tuesday we celebrated the Feast of St. Benedict. Fr. Jim shared an excellent homily about him at our daily Mass.
Benedict was born, along with his twin sister Scholastica, in the northern Italian city of Nursia of a noble family. The Roman Empire in the West had collapsed just four years before his birth.
When Benedict was about 20 years old, disillusioned with the chaotic and materialistic world, he retreated to Subiaco, near Rome, to take on the life of a hermit. After about 10 years as a hermit Benedict felt a call to a more communal life. This led to his founding of the great monastery of Monte Cassino between Rome and Naples. It is to this day regarded as the mother of all Benedictine monasteries. This was a great innovation, for previously virtually all monks had been hermits. Benedict’s “Order,” a guide to monastic living, still survives.
In 1964 Pope Paul VI declared St. Benedict, along with Sts. Cyril and Methodius, the Patrons of Europe.