The Rule Of St. Benedict

Item Number: 54442

Catalog Code: RSB

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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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