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The Rule Of St. Benedict

Item Number: 54442

Catalog Code: RSB

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Rule Of St. Benedict

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Latin on left-hand pages, beautiful English translation on the right-hand pages


 “Remarkable for its discretion and its clarity.” — St. Gregory the Great

It was 594 when Pope St. Gregory the Great — himself a Benedictine — wrote this tribute to the little book which had shaped his life, and stands today as one of the cornerstones of religious life.


St. Benedict — credited with saving Western Civilization through his monastery system — adopted a remarkably commonsense approach to growing in grace.

In part, St. Benedict was reacting to the extreme ascetical practices of the East where hermits starved themselves, went without sleep, and dressed in rags. Without minimizing the importance of that self-sacrifice, St. Benedict insisted that monks could not attend properly to their work and study, let alone their celebration of Mass and the Divine Office, if they were denied nutritious meals, ample rest, proper clothing — and daily structure.

 The Benedictine historian, Dom David Knowles, wrote that in the Rule, St. Benedict created a new type of monastery, one that was “neither a penitentiary nor a school of ascetic mountaineering, but a family, a home for those seeking God.”

 If Benedict was comparatively lenient about disciplining the body, he was adamant about the need to subdue the will. His Rule emphasizes:

 • obedience • humility • fraternal charity •


 These virtues, once acquired, root out pride. Then, to the standard vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, St. Benedict added the vow of stability, in which a monk promised to remain in his monastery until death (unless his superiors sent him elsewhere). By this fourth vow, Benedict made each monastery a brotherhood, a family, in which each member works for the good of the whole.

 Furthermore, each member of the monastic family found in the Rule a standard against which he could measure his every action. By being moderate and flexible in day-to-day concerns, but uncompromising in spiritual matters, St. Benedict’s Rule has endured for 1,500 years as a living code, a guiding light that has shown untold numbers of religious men and women the path to holiness. No rectory, no religious house, and no Catholic family, should be without a copy of this seminal work.

 Steps on the path to perfection:


  •  72 good works that show our love for God
  • 12 steps of humility
  • Why the first stage of humility is prompt obedience
  • The importance of silence
  • How to show proper reverence in the presence of God
  • How the Divine Office ought to be said
  • Prayer — why shorter is better
  • Why the choir is “the world of God”
  • What monks should read
  • What monks may eat and drink
  • Observing Lent
  • Whether monks can own anything
  • Why daily manual labor is good for the soul
  • How to care for the elderly, the sick, and the young

Why The Rule?


 “Even our age ... can borrow from [The Rule of St. Benedict] the needed remedies.” — Pius XII

 “An epitome of Christianity, a learned and mysterious abridgment of all the doctrines of the Gospel, all the institutions of the Fathers, and all the Counsels of Perfection.” — Bishop Bossuet

 “A fund of spiritual and human wisdom.” — Dom David Knowles, O.S.B., Cambridge Univ.

-Handsomely bound with gold title embossing



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St. Benedict of Nursia

St. Benedict of Nursia Feast Day:
Eastern Calendar - 03/14
Roman Rite Calendar - 07/11
Tridentine Calendar - 03/21

Patron Of: Against Witchcraft, Civil Engineers, Dying, Farmers, Gall Stones, Homeless, Kidney Disease, Monastics, Monks, Poisoning, Schoolchildren, Speleologists

Also known as

    * Benedict of Narsia
    * Benedict of Norsia
    * Benedetto da Norcia
    * Founder of Western Monasticism


    * 11 July (Latin Rite)
    * 21 March (Benedictine monks and nuns)
    * 14 March (Byzantine Rite)


    Born to the Roman nobility. Twin brother of Saint Scholastica. Studied in Rome, Italy, but was dismayed by the lack of discipline and the lackadasical attitude of his fellow students. Fled to the mountains near Subiaco, living as a hermit in a cave for three years; reported to have been fed by a raven. His virtues caused an abbey to request him to lead them. Founded the monastery at Monte Cassino, where he wrote the Rule of his order. His discipline was such that an attempt was made on his life; some monks tried by poison him, but he blessed the cup and rendered it harmless. He returned to his cave, but continued to attract followers, and eventually established twelve monasteries. Had the ability to read consciences, the gift of prophesy, and could forestall attacks of the devil. Destroyed pagan statues and altars, drove demons from groves sacred to pagans. At one point there were over 40,000 monasteries guided by the Benedictine Rule. A summation of the Rule: “Pray and work.”


    * c.480, Narsia, Umbria, Italy


    * 21 March 547 of a fever while in prayer at Monte Cassino, Italy
    * buried beneath the high altar there in the same tomb as Saint Scholastica


    * 1220 by Pope Honorius III


    * against erysipelas
    * against fever
    * against gall stones
    * against inflammatory diseases
    * against kidney disease
    * against nettle rash
    * against poison
    * against temptations
    * against witchcraft
    * agricultural workers
    * cavers
    * civil engineers
    * coppersmiths
    * dying people
    * Europe
    * farm workers
    * farmers
    * Heerdt, Germany
    * Italian architects
    * monks
    * Norcia, Italy
    * people in religious orders
    * school children
    * servants who have broken their master’s belongings
    * speliologists
    * spelunkers
    * students
    * Subiaco, Italy


    * 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


All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

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