Saint Benedict of Nursia (Norcia)
Saint Benedict was born of a Roman noble family around 480 A.D. He was schooled at Rome, but eventually turned away from the declining culture and worldly life of the Roman schools and took spiritual refuge in a cave some distance from Rome at Subiaco. There he lived an ascetical life of prayerful solitude. Saint Gregory the Great tells us in Book II of his dialogues that a group of monks convinced him, with much reluctance, to be their abbot. Soon they tired of Benedict's discipline and wanted him to leave them to their life of laxity. He wouldn't go, so they attempted to poison him. After this unfortunate affair, the holy man went to found a monastery at Monte Casino, which would become the "mother" of the entire Benedictine confederation of monks. Saint Benedict died around 547 A.D.
Mount Angel Abbey has inherited Saint Benedict's Rule of life, with its tradition of prayer and work. Founded from the Swiss Abbey of Engelberg in 1882, Mount Angel Abbey strives to be a place of peace and solitude in a very busy world. This community keeps alive the ancient tradition of the choral office, the love of learning and Christian hospitality.