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Saint Benedict (of Nursia)

A.K.A.  Benedict of Narsia; Benedict of Norsia; Benedetto da Norcia; Founder of Western Monasticism

Born: c. March 2, 480 in Nurcia, Umbria, Kingdom of Odoacer

Died: March 21, 547 in Monte Cassino, Italy of a fever while in prayer; Buried beneath the high altar there in the same tomb as Saint Scholastica (twin sister)

Venerated: Roman Catholic Church; Eastern Orthodox Church; Eastern Catholic Churches; Anglican Communion; Lutheran Church; Oriental Orthodox Church

Canonized: 1220 by Pope Honorius III

Feast Day: July 11 (Latin Rite since 1969; translation of relics); March 21 (Benedictines, Norway, Monte Cassino); March 14 (Byzantine Rite); December 4 (France)

Patronages: Against Erysipelas; Against Fever; Against Gall Stones; Against Inflammatory Diseases; Against Kidney Disease; Against Nettle Rash; Against Poison; Against Temptations; Against Witchcraft; Architects; Benedictines; Dying People; Monks; People in Religious Orders; School Children; Servants who have broken their Master's belongings; Speliologitsts; Spelunkers; Students; Agricultural Workers; Civil Engineers; Coppersmiths; Farm Workers; Italian Architects; Italian Farmers
Places: Europe; Heerdt, Germany; Norcia, Italy; Subiaco, Italy

Representations: Bell; Broken Cup; Broken Cup and Serpent Representing Poison; Broken Utensil; Bush; Crosier; Man in a Benedictine cowl holding Benedict's rule or a rod of discipline; Raven

The Patriarch of Western monasticism was born in Nursia, in central Italy, about 480.  In his youth, seeing the corruption of the world, he left home to live a hermit's life of penance and prayer in a cave in the mountain of Subiaco, near Rome, where he was instructed in Christian asceticism by Saint Romanus, a Solitary of the vicinity.

His reputation for sanctity gathered a large number of disciples around him, for whom he erected monasteries in which they lived a community life under a prescribed rule.  In the year 529, he left Subiaco for Monte Cassino, and there founded the great Abbey which became the center of religious life in Europe.

The principles of the rule written by Saint Benedict became the basis of religious orders and congregations after his time.  It shows the way to religious perfection by the practice of self-conquest, mortification, humility, obedience, prayer, silence, retirement, and detachment from the worlds and its cares.

Saint Scholastica, the (twin) sister of Saint Benedict, was the first Benedictine nun.  She presided over a monastery of nuns near Monte Cassino.  Saint Benedict died March 21, 543, as he stood before the altar of Monte Cassino immediately after receiving Holy Communion.

For Further Information About Saint Benedict (of Nursia), See CatholicSaints.Info Website

Prayer: God, You established Saint Benedict the Abbot as an admirable teacher in the school of Devine servitude.  Teach us never to prefer anything to Your love and always to run the way of Your Commandments with most generous dispositions.  Amen.