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St. B Enedict Essay

2010 words - 8 pages

Saint Benedict was a very accomplished man. In his lifetime he came to the aid of many people. He was a great teacher of his age and a guide to many in their search for God. The teachings of Saint Benedict still affect the lives of people today. His work reinvented monastic life. Through hard work, faith, and piety, this humble man helped shape history.Theodore Maynard, author of Saint Benedict and His Monks states that Benedict was born in 480 in Nursia, Italy (1). We learn from James McGoldrick's encyclopedia article, Saint Benedict of Nursia, that Benedict's parents were Euproprius and Abundantia. Euproprius and Abundantia were probably very wealthy people of high social standing (136). Benedict had a twin sister named Scholastica, who like Benedict, devoted her life to God at an early age. In his mid to late teens Benedict traveled to Rome to study rhetoric and law. His nurse, Cyrilla, accompanied him. In Rome, the two lived in a small apartment and Cyrilla kept house for the young man. Benedict was soon offended by the immoral conduct of his fellow students. Not long after arriving in Rome, he left the city in search of a way to live in accordance with the teachings of the Christ (Maynard 2-4).Benedict and Cyrilla traveled east of Rome to a city called Enfide. It was here that Benedict first experienced monastic life. For a short period of time he lived in the monastery at Enfide (Maynard 9).In the Encyclopedia of World Biography, the article St. Benedict, informs us that most of the information about Benedict's life comes from the Dialogues of Saint Gregory the Great, pope from 590 to 604 (152). In the Dialogues, Gregory wrote accounts he received from four of Benedict's closest followers. The Dialogues include many stories of miracles performed by the saint, the first of which occurred at Enfide. One day, Cyrilla had borrowed a clay sieve, which Sewell 2 she had then broken. She became distressed and began to cry. Feeling sorry for her, Benedict began to pray over the sieve. He prayed so earnestly that he also began to cry. When he had finished praying, the sieve was completely whole. Cyrilla soon related this tale to the community of Enfide and the sieve was subsequently hung over the door of the church. After this incident, the young Benedict received a great deal of attention, which was exactly what he did not want. He became self-conscious and secretly stole away. He told no one of his departure, not even his nurse (Maynard 12).Benedict did not know where he was going. He knew only that he desired the private life of a hermit. He journeyed northwest along the banks of the Anio River and met a man named Romanus. Romanus was a monk in the nearby town of Subiaco. Benedict told him of his plans to become a hermit and Romanus aided him in finding a secluded cave in which to live. The monk also gave the young man a monastic habit and promised to "supply him with basic needs as best he could." Although no vows were taken, Benedict's...

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