St. Benedict of Nursia (c.480-c.550) was born into an aristocratic family in the Umbrian province of Nursia. Around 500 he retired to a cave in a place that was to become known as Sacro Speco near the Lake of Subiaco. In 529, Benedict founded the Abbey of Monte Cassino and composed his famous Rule, which has served ever since as a basis both for Benedictines and for western monastic life generally. Benedict was the spiritual forefather of all the western orders, and is called the Patriarch of western monasticism.
In fine art he is often depicted with a raven, carrying off the poisoned bread with which some rebellious monks wanted to poison hima and a cup (broken, or with a snake crawling out of it).
He is the patron of the Benedictine Order. and, since 1964, of Europe.
In 1964, Pope John Paul II nominated St. Benedict together with SS. Cyril and Methodius as joint patrons of Europe.
Feast day: 11 February.
See: Cima da Conegliano. Madonna
and Child Enthroned with St. Peter, St. Romuald, St. Benedict, and St.
Giotto Madonna and Child with St. Nicholas, St. John the Evangelist, St. Peter and St. Benedict.
Fra Filippo Lippi St. Benedict Orders St. Maurus to the Rescue of St. Placidus.
Hans Memling St. Benedict.
The Book of Saints: The Lives of the Saints According to the Liturgical Calendar by George Angelini, Victor Hoagland (Editor). Regina Press, Malhame & Company, 1986.
Seeking God: The Way of St. Benedict (Second Edition) by Esther de Waal, Kathleen Norris. Spring Arbor Distributors, 2001.
Living With Contradiction: An Introduction to Benedictine Spirituality by Esther De Waal. Morehouse Publishing, 1998.
Always We Begin Again: The Benedictine Way of Living by John McQuiston II. Morehouse Publishing, 1996.
The Rule of Benedict for Beginners: Spirituality for Daily Life by Wil Derkse (Translator), Martin Kessler (Translator). Liturgical Press, 2003.
St. Benedict: Hero of the Hills by Mary Fabyan Windeatt. Ignatius Press, 2001.
A Guide to Living in the Truth: Saint Benedict's Teaching on Humility by Michael Casey. Triumph Books, 2001.
The Golden Legend by Jacobus De Voragine, William Granger Ryan (Translator). Princeton Univ Pr, 1995.