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Benedictines,religious order of the Roman Catholic Church, following the rule of St. BenedictBenedict, Saint
, d. c.547, Italian monk, called Benedict of Nursia, author of a rule for monks that became the basis of the Benedictine order, b. Norcia (E of Spoleto).
..... Click the link for more information. [Lat. abbr.,=O.S.B.]. The first Benedictine monastery was at Monte CassinoMonte Cassino
, monastery, in Latium, central Italy, E of the Rapido River. Situated on a hill (1,674 ft/510 m) overlooking Cassino, it was founded c.529 by St. Benedict of Nursia, whose rule became that of all Benedictine houses in the world.
..... Click the link for more information. , Italy, which came to be regarded as the symbolic center of Western monasticismmonasticism
, form of religious life, usually conducted in a community under a common rule. Monastic life is bound by ascetical practices expressed typically in the vows of celibacy, poverty, and obedience, called the evangelical counsels.
..... Click the link for more information. . St. Benedict's rule was in many ways novel in monastic life in replacing severity with moderation. The monastery, or abbeyabbey,
monastic house, especially among Benedictines and Cistercians, consisting of not less than 12 monks or nuns ruled by an abbot or abbess. Many abbeys were originally self-supporting. In the Benedictine expansion after the 8th cent.
..... Click the link for more information. , was conceived as a devout Christian family, with an abbot or abbess as head. The monks or nuns swore to live in the house until death. The whole of Benedictine life was experienced in common, the waking hours being devoted principally to worship and work, especially manual labor. In the 8th cent. the English Benedictines St. Willibrord and St. Boniface evangelized Frisia and Germany; in this expansion of Christendom the abbey served as an outpost, a unit of both Latin culture (including Western agricultural methods) and Christian religion. The Benedictines were also active in continental Western Europe—their preservation of books was a critical service. At a series of councils held under Louis I at Aachen (A.D. 816–A.D. 819), Benedict of AnianeBenedict of Aniane, Saint,
c.750–821, French abbot who became a monastic adviser to Louis I. He first founded (c.780) an austere monastic community at Aniane in Languedoc, based on Eastern asceticism.
..... Click the link for more information. attempted to standardize monastic practices in the Carolingian Empire according to the Rule of St. Benedict. In the 10th cent. a reform began at the Benedictine abbey of Cluny, France, that resulted in the development of the Cluniac orderCluniac order
, medieval organization of Benedictines centered at the abbey of Cluny, France. Founded in 910 by the monk Berno and Count William of Aquitaine, the abbey's constitution provided it freedom from lay supervision and (after 1016) from jurisdiction of the local bishop.
..... Click the link for more information. ; at Cluny the liturgy was significantly expanded. Another reform, begun in 1098, resulted in the foundation of the order of the CisterciansCistercians
, monks of a Roman Catholic religious order founded (1098) by St. Robert, abbot of Molesme, in Cîteaux [Cistercium], Côte-d'Or dept., France. They reacted against Cluniac departures from the Rule of St. Benedict.
..... Click the link for more information. . Throughout the centuries Benedictine houses have occupied a central position in Western monasticism. Today they are organized as a loose federation of congregations, each congregation being a collection of geographically related abbeys or monasteries that are mainly autonomous. Benedictine work in liturgy has been outstanding. The abbeys at Solesmes and Beuron in particular have established a spiritual life centered around sung liturgy. They are responsible for the restoration of Gregorian melodies (plain chant) and their universal use today in the Roman Catholic Church. Permanent Benedictine establishments in the United States began in the 1840s. Benedictine nuns, originally founded by St. Benedict and his sister Scholastica as an enclosed order, now often do missionary and educational work in communities.
See E. C. Butler, Benedictine Monachism (2d ed. 1924, repr. 1962); C. H. Lawrence, Medieval Monasticism (1984).
Benedictines(religion, spiritualism, and occult)
Benedict of Nursia was a devout Roman Catholic who lived from 480 to 550 CE. Although he was not an ordained priest, those who follow his Benedictine Rule today generally study for the priesthood.
Benedictines are a contemplative order of monks and nuns, usually living communally and reaching for a deeper relationship with God through prayer, meditation, and community service as part of the Roman Catholic Church.
oldest Western European Catholic monastic order. Founded circa 530 by Benedict of Nursia at Monte Cassino (Italy); there is also a women’s branch, the Benedictine Nuns.
During the Middle Ages the Benedictine Order owned large amounts of land, and it supported the papacy in its claims for domination throughout Europe. The order attained its greatest influence in the Catholic Church during the tenth and 11th centuries. With the rise of other monastic orders the influence of the Benedictines decreased. During the period of the Great French Revolution the order went into a decline, but in the 19th century its activity revived somewhat. As of 1968, the main Benedictine Order numbered approximately 12,000 monks, belonging to about 20 men’s congregations; there were also 16 women’s congregations (numbering about 20,000 members). The order is headed by an abbot primate, who lives in Rome and is elected every 12 years. The Benedictines are a bulwark of support for the present-day Vatican.