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Born around 480 in Nursia, Italy, Benedict was educated in Rome. Because of the vices of the city, he fled to Enfide. He decided to live the life of a hermit and settled in a cave in mountainous Subiaco for three years. The community at Vicovaro asked him to be their Abbot. Because of his strictness, the monks resisted his rule and tried to poison him. He returned to Subiaco where he attracted a great number of disciples. His Rule offered a common-sense approach to the monastic life: He organized twelve monasteries where there was a regular routine of work, study, rest, healthy food and drink etc, which produced a closer union with God and a deeper understanding of His will. One of his rules was no excessive penances. Benedict has been acclaimed as “the Father of Monks.” He died at Monte Casino on March 21, 550.
FEAST DAY: March 21
PATRON OF: Monks, poison sufferers