St. Benedict was born around the year 480 in the district of Nursia (present-day Norcia), in Umbria, central Italy. He is regarded as the “Father of Western Monasticism” and is “Co-patron of Europe” along with Saints Cyril and Methodius.

As a young man, Benedict was sent to Rome for studies but left after a short stay, desiring to dedicate his life to God. He went to live in an isolated place near Subiaco, not far from the ruins of Emperor Nero’s summer villa, about fifty miles from Rome. Today the cave is the celebrated shrine called “Sacro Speco” (The Holy Cave) and is one of Europe’s most beautiful sanctuaries. At Subiaco, Benedict lived a life of solitude and prayer for about three years with the support from a monk named Romanus. Benedict’s time as a hermit was interupted for a short period when he became the superior of a group of unruly monks. Ultimately unhappy with his guidance, they tried to poison him. He then withdrew to the cave at Subiaco once again.

Read and reflect upon the Rule of St. Benedict – click here