The Rule of Benedict
Founder of a monastery at Monte Cassino, between Rome and Naples, in the sixth century, St Benedict intended his Rule to be a practical guide to Christian monastic life. Based on the key precepts of humility, obedience and love, its aim is to create a harmonious and efficient religious community in which individuals can make progress in the Christian virtues and gain eternal life. Here, Benedict sets out ideal monastery routines and regulations, from the qualities of a good abbot, the twelve steps to humility and the value of silence to such every day matters as kitchen duties, care of the sick and the suitable punishment for lateness at mealtimes. Benedict's legacy is still strong - his Rule remains a source of inspiration and a key work in the history of the Christian church.