St. Benedict was born in Nursia in 480 to upper class parents. He attended university in Rome. To escape the vice he was surrounded by he fled Rome and spent 3 years in seclusion. After these three years he founded the monasteries he is famous for.
St. Benedict is considered the founder of western monasticism. His monasteries were based on the principles in his book The Rule of Benedict. This book begins with this prologue: “Listen carefully, my son, to the masters’ instructions and attend to them with the ear of your heart. (R.B. Prologue)”
His rule begins with the word LISTEN! The monasteries have a very strict discipline. They focus on daily personal and liturgical prayer. Singing of the Psalms and reading the Divine Office is practiced daily. Listening to the word of God is the primary focus of their spirituality. Lectio Divino is slow reading and meditation on the scripture. Benedictine spirituality also demands obedience, hospitality, and service.
St. Benedict died while standing in prayer before God.
The feast day of St. Benedict is July 11th. In the Eastern Church it is celebrated on March 14th.
St. Benedict is the patron saint of students and Europe.