High in the mountains Surrounded by woods Walled town (only or one of few remaining in Italy) Wild boar products are a specialty (sausages, cured meat, skins) Home of grandparents of Benedict and Scholastica found under the Church
Scenes from Benedict’s lifealways centered on Christ
Benedict’s first cenobitic experience was not a success.On a second effort, he founded 12 monasteries of which one remains today.
Benedict’s love of learning Benedict often shown teaching, and in the company of scholars and learned saints. Gregory termed him “wisely ignorant” – he knew what to learn, and what not to learn. He learned from the problems of his first monasteries.
Benedict’s cell is now a chapel.It was here, in his many years at Monte Cassino, that his spirituality matured.He wrote the final edition of his Rule in the years before his death.
Writing the Rule(image from ballot box in Norcia)
Benedict’s years at Monte Cassino A time of war, with the Emperor re-imposing direct government Great poverty and crop failures – Rule describes surviving by hard labor Goths and Ostrogoths were Arians and Church disputes were common Old Roman culture was largely passing away
Benedict’s wisdom and vision He did not invent the monastic way of life He integrated the wisdom of the past He kept his eyes fixed on following Christ so that the world did not draw him astray
Following Benedict’s path from his mountain home through Rome in decline and the turbulence of his early monastic life reveals the depth of his holiness.His Rule is not simply a document. In its precepts, he has summarized his life and all he learned.The call to be Benedictine is a call to be a blessing.