Pray for the children, St Benedict. He was a holy man who exercised the greatest influence on monasticism in the West.
He is included in the later Dialogues of Saint Gregory, but these are sketches to illustrate miraculous elements of his career.
Benedict was born into a distinguished Italian family and was drawn to monasticism. At first, he became a hermit, leaving a world of pagan armies on the march, the Church was torn by schism, people suffering from war, and morality at a low ebb.
He did not live a hidden life in a small town any better than in a large city, so he withdrew to the mountains for three years. Some monks chose Benedict as their leader for a while but found his strictness not to their taste.
Still, the shift from hermit to community life had begun for him. He gathering of monks into one “Grand Monastery” of unity, fraternity, and permanent worship in one house. Finally, he began to build what was to become one of the most famous monasteries in the world—Monte Cassino, commanding three narrow valleys running toward the Naples mountains.
Their Rule prescribes a life of liturgical prayer, study, manual labor, and living together in a community under a common abbot. Benedictine asceticism is known for its moderation.
Saint Benedict is the Patron Saint of Schoolchildren.