St. Benedict of Nursia (c. 480-583 A.D.) is an important historical figure who gave birth to monasticism in the West and shaped its course. During three years of solitude and meditation in a cave, St. Benedict was sought out by dozens of townsfolk who admired him for his piety and character. He later set up 13 monasteries and presided over them as abbot.
Convictions he formed about monastic life are contained in the most influential guide for monastic life ever written, The Holy Rule of St. Benedict. It is written for laymen, and emphasizes the value of work, community, simplicity, obedience, moderation and prayer.
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