Saint Benedict (c. 480 – 550) is the father of Western monasticism. Benedict renounced the worldly education he was receiving as a youth in Rome, and became a hermit in Subiaco, Italy.

He began a monastery there, which was followed by another one in Monte Cassino. In all, he created twelve monasteries of twelve monks each,which were called “schools for the Lord’s service.”

He lived the remainder of his life with a small band of monks at Monte Cassino, where he composed what would come to be known as the Rule of Saint Benedict – marked by prudence, obedience and monastic zeal.

Unique among rules, his provides both founding principles and an outline of the monastic way of life. Having never been ordained, he serves as a model for all in our day, of faithfulness and a godly focus of life.

“And everyone that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.” (The day’s gospel, page F 34, The People’s Anglican Missal).