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Who was St Benedict and what did he do?

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Quick Answer

St Benedict was a Christian saint who founded 12 monasteries in Italy, as well as creating the Rule of Saint Benedict for future monks to live by. Also known as "Benedict of Nursia," he was celebrated by both the Catholic and Anglican Church.

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Full Answer

St Benedict of Nursia was born around 480 AD in the near Rome. After growing up surrounded by vices, he chose to pursue a simpler life living as a hermit in Subiaco. During this time, Benedict engaged in deep periods of reflection and prayer. When word of his holy practices spread throughout the local area, monks began visiting him for guidance.

While the first group of monks who visited Benedict found his teachings were too strict, others used them to establish 12 monasteries in the area. After encountering an attack from another hermit, Benedict chose to move to Monte Cassino, where he established another monastery.

It was during this time that he established the "Rules of St Benedict," which monks throughout Christian Europe lived under for over 1500 years. His influence on monastic practices were so significant throughout the west that the early middle ages became known as the Benedictine years. While monasteries became less common, the Benedictine rules still have an influence in modern times.

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