THE times were dangerous, yet Eutropio and Claudia, members of the Italian nobility in Nurcia, Italy, welcomed the birth of their son, Bendedetto.
Planning the best for him, when their son was of age, the parents sent him to Rome for a good education. But the youth found the lifestyle of the ity’s citizens decadent.
He left Rome including a young lovely girl whom he loved.
Retiring to the hills of Subiaco, away from Rome, he spent several years in a cave as a hermit, in prayer and penance for Rome’s waywardness. While he wrestled with the demons within and the memories of Rome’s dolce vita he looked for inner peace.
Having discovered his special way of being with God through “Prayer and Work” (Ora et labora) Benedetto(Benedict), encouraged by the Church, established communities and monasteries whose monks -- 16 in each monastery -- taught people not only of the faith but also the much needed 3 R’s plus the art of farming and trading.
Inside the monastery walls -- oases of peace, prayer and educational progress -- the monks and their students enjoyed protection from barbaric invasions while forming themselves to be good citizens and faithful Christians.
But even in the ideal situation, the Devil still reared his ugliness. Some monks, resenting Benedict’s discipline, one evening planned to poison his wine. As Benedict was about to drink his wine, a crow flew in and knocked the cup down.
The saint got himself another cup, but again the bird knocked the cup.
After the third time, St. Benedict realized that the bird was saving his life.
The scheming monks remained motionless and ashamed as St. Benedict silently left.
Sadly, the holy monk abandoned Subiaco and transferred to Monte Cassino. There the great saint peacefully passed away in 540 AD.
Years later Rome declared him “Father of Western monasticism,” the European Union gave him the title: “Father of Western civilization.”