Life Under the Rule

St. Benedict’s is best understood as the spirituality of ordinary life… The Benedictine is a spirituality of work: man’s by labor, God’s by prayer. — John Senior

The Benedictine Rule has ordered all our actions since our foundation. This Rule of Life is read daily, and we strive to keep every aspect of it in all its austere simplicity.

It is in this “little Rule written for beginners,” that we find the pattern to be “doers of the Word;” a time-tested way of life which cultured a barbaric continent by the sheer example of its followers.

The simple motto of “Ora et Labora” (Prayer and Work) summarizes the means our Father Benedict holds out to realize the desire of eternal life.

Read the Rule
Listen to the Rule (free audiobook)
View a medieval manuscript of the Rule

St. Benedict

St. Benedict

St. Benedict (480-543)

If one wishes to understand in depth his personality and life, he can find in the disposition of the Rule the exact image of all the actions of the master, because this saintly man is incapable of teaching other than he lived. — St. Gregory


Benedict was born to a noble family in Nursia, then educated in Rome. He left the world to seek God in solitude at Subiaco, but he was sought out as his holiness became known.

He was then persuaded to become abbot of a group of monks of Vicovaro, but they became dissatisfied with his attempts at reform. They tried to poison him but failed, and so Benedict returned to his solitude.

Not long after, fervent disciples began flocking to him, and he established his famous monastery at Monte Cassino. The order grew dramatically in a short amount of time.

After a life of intense prayer and penance, conversions and miracles, Benedict died on March 21, 543. He left behind him the Benedictine Holy Rule and an example that has inspired men and women for over 1500 years.