Saint Benedict of Nursia
AKA: 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 Gall Stones
Against Inflammatory Diseases
Against Kidney Disease
Against Nettle Rash
People in Religious Orders
Servants who have broken their Master's belongings
Broken Cup and Serpent Representing Poison
Man in a Benedictine cowl holding Benedict's rule or a rod of discipline
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.
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.
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