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Saint Benedict of Nursia


Also known as Benedict of Narsia Benedict of Norsia Founder of Western Monasticism

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

Profile Born to the Roman nobility. Twin brother of Saint Scholastica. Studied in Rome, 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, prophesy, and 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."

Born c.480, Narsia, Umbria, Italy

Died 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

Name Meaning blessed (= benedict)

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

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