Saint Benedict


Saint Benedict, 480–550
July 11

As a young man, Benedict wanted to live alone in silence and prayer. But people moved near him so he could teach them about how to become holy. Benedict knew that if people were to live in a group, they had to have an agreement on how to live. So he made a plan to help people live together in a way that would please God. His plan, called the Rule of Saint Benedict, balances prayer, study, work, and rest. Even today, people use his Rule to live a happy and holy life.

Discuss: What kind of rules do you have at school or at home that help everyone get along?

Benedict is the patron of monks, spelunkers, and against kidney disease. He is also a patron Saint of Europe. He had a twin sister, Saint Scholastica. While he was the abbot of his monastery, Benedict was also an adviser to Popes and rulers. He ministered to the poor and continued his own education as he worked. He died while praying in front of an altar. Benedict is often shown as a monk, sometimes accompanied by a raven. He can also be seen carrying a cope of his Rule and the staff of an abbot.

Rule of Saint Benedict

Tell the child that Saint Benedict thought long and hard about how to live in the perfect balance of activities.

  • Have the child use his rules to make a schedule of when and how long they:
    1. Pray
    2. Study
    3. Work (chores)
    4. Rest
  • Have them determine whether or not they are keeping their lives in balance.