Friday, February 3, 2012

Murphysboro Centuries, 6th sacred

Benedict of Nursia, 480?-547
- born in Italy and studied for a brief time in Rome, but around 500 he became a hermit outside of Rome - attracted a number of followers and later “led” a monastery, but he left that area because they were too “rowdy” - that led him to decide that monks needed more discipline
- in 529, he founded a monastery at Monte Cassino, about half-way between Rome and Naples - for that monastery he wrote a Rule that spelled out what the monks were supposed to do - the use of that Rule later became widespread - this was the start of the “Benedictine” order of monks
- according to the Rule, a monastery was supposed to be permanent and self-supporting - the head was the “abbot” who was to be obeyed in everything (although in matters of “common concern” he was supposed to at least consult with some of the monks, much like the emperor) - worship was supposed to be the chief occupation of the monks and they worshiped often (later seven times a day, at Matins, Prime, Tierce, Sext, Lauds, Vespers and Compline) - however monks were not supposed to be idle, so when not at worship they were to working in the fields, reading, or (later) copying books (this latter occupation was very important in preserving knowledge during the medieval period)

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