St.Benedict of Nursia
He was born about 480 in the middle of Italy (today’s Norcia), came from aristocratic family, and got first class education in Rome. During the Gothic occupation he studied in Groaning Rome. His Christian spirit could not stand temptations of the world. Already as a 14 year old boy he decided he had to leave the world. But he told this decision only to his nanny.

Before he lived in village parish in Enfide (today’s Affile), but he escaped also from there. Between The Sabin Mountans, Subicco territories, in The Anio Valley, he put on his monk clothes and settled down in a cave. After three years of solitude some shepherds found him and told about him to other people. After this a lot of people made pilgrimages to him. But with the fame world’s temptations got closer to him. Though the monks from Vico castle choose him as their superior, they did not really want to take him seriously. They even tried to poison him. That’s why he came back to the cave in Subiaco.

One after the other he built monasteries for more and more monks who surrounded him. In these monasteries a real monastery family life was going on, he liked the most to deal with the education of the beginners. His 35 years of being a monk was interrupted by a jealous priest and he went to the south. On Monte Cassino Mountain - in 529 - he founded the mother house of the benedictines. He built a church and a monastery, helped the poor, converted many people , wrote his ‘Rule’, which still today is the foundation of western monastic life. That is why he is also called the father of western monastic life.

He died on March 21st in 547(according to other sources in 543). Ever since then his followers the benedictines have converted Europe, and still today they are educating some of the best persons in our society. Since the 8th century St Benedict’s memorial day is celebrated on July 11th. Pope Paul VI in 1964, October 24th, announced him as the main patron saint of Europe.

text: Laszlo Gorove