Holy Rule of Saint Benedict

(ca. 525)

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In 529 Benedict founded his famous monastery at Monte Cassino. Bringing the traditional Roman virtues of seriousness, stability, authority, and moderation to the cloister, Benedict soon composed a Holy Rule for his monks, which eventually supplanted all other rules in Western monasticism. The epochal character of the Rule stems from its precision and thoroughness, its temperance, and its concern for order. Unlike the moral maxims forming the substance of previous rules, Benedict's Holy Rule...