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Saint Benedict of Nursia: A Concise Biography comes complete with a Touch-or-Click Table of Contents, divided by each section, and the Catholic Image Collection, a myriad of beautiful colorful religious images.
Saint Benedict of Nursia is a Christian saint, honored by the Roman Catholic Church as the patron saint of Europe and students.
Benedict founded twelve communities for monks at Subiaco, about 40 miles to the east of Rome, before moving to Monte Cassino in the mountains of southern Italy. There is no evidence that he intended to found a religious order. The Order of St Benedict is of later origin and, moreover, not an "order" as commonly understood but merely a confederation of autonomous congregations.
Benedict's main achievement is his "Rule", containing precepts for his monks. It is heavily influenced by the writings of John Cassian, and shows strong affinity with the Rule of the Master. But it also has a unique spirit of balance, moderation and reasonableness, and this persuaded most religious communities founded throughout the Middle Ages to adopt it. As a result, the Rule of Benedict became one of the most influential religious rules in Western Christendom. For this reason, Benedict is often called the founder of western Christian monasticism.
Apart from a short poem, attributed to Mark of Monte Cassino, the only ancient account of Benedict is found in the second volume of Pope Gregory I's four-book Dialogues, thought to have been written in 593. The authenticity of this work has been hotly disputed, especially by Dr Francis Clarke in his two volume work "The Pseudo-Gregorian Dialogues." Book Two consists of a prologue and thirty-eight succinct chapters.
Gregory’s account of this saint’s life is not, however, a biography in the modern sense of the word. It provides instead a spiritual portrait of the gentle, disciplined abbot. In a letter to Bishop Maximilian of Syracuse, Gregory states his intention for his Dialogues, saying they are a kind of floretum (an anthology, literally, ‘flowers’) of the most striking miracles of Italian holy men.
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