nomic activity, harboring schools, hospitals,guest houses, andfarms. Meanwhile,Europe is ravaged bywar and instability.
Benedictine Abbey ofCluny in central Francespearheads reform ofthe medieval churchand produces leaders,including monks whobecome bishops andeven popes.
Camaldolese andCarthusian hermitand contemplativemonks are founded bySaint Romuald (in Italy)and Saint Bruno (inthe French Alps). Bothcontinue to this day.
(Trappists) greatlyincreases in numberand influence with thehelp of Saint Bernardof Clairvaux.
combines a monasticregimen with parishwork, foreshadowing the coming of themendicant, or “beg-ging,” orders and theirservice in cities.
The first “lay association” or “third order”
of laity affiliated witha religious order isfounded with the estab
Letters of SaintPaul refer todistinct groupingsin the early church,including groupsof celibate womendedicated to prayerand charity.
Persecution ofChristians. In 313
Roman EmperorConstantine issuesthe “Edict of Toleration.” Christiansseek ways otherthan martyrdomto give themselvescompletely to thefaith.
Saint Anthony theGreat heeds thegospel call to sell allhe has, serve thepoor, and live a lifeof asceticism. Heeventually takes upresidence in the desert to live in solitudeand prayer. His storyis recorded by SaintAthanasius, bishopof Alexandria, andbecomes a fourth-century “bestseller”that inspires othermen and women tolive as hermits.
Houses of monksand nuns are established in the Egyptiandesert.
Pachomius, acontemporary ofSaint Anthony theGreat and a convert
I saw the snares that the enemy
spreads out over the world and
I said groaning, “What can get
through from such snares?” Then
I heard a voice saying to me,
“Humility.” –SAIN T ANTHON Y
a model for
way of life
in Jerusalem, with all
members sharing their
goods and praying in
Saint Basil establisheslarge communities ofmonks in Asia Minor
(modern-dayTurkey). Asbishop ofCesarea,Basil hashis monksengage inthe apostolic workof teachingand pastoralcare.
Saint Jerome, scholarand Bible translator,moves to Bethlehemwhere he sets up andlives in a monastery.
Saint Augustine writesrules for monks andnuns during his earlyyears as a bishop inNorth Africa. He alsofounds monasteries.
Surge of monasticcommunities in theEastern and Westernchurch. In 470 SaintBrigid establishesKildare Abbey inIreland, a doublemonastery for monksand nuns.
Common life(or community)becomes moredominant thanthe hermit’s way oflife and spreads toFrance, Germany,and Italy.
Saint Benedict of
and writes a rule for
monks, moderate in
tone compared to
other rules for monks
of the time.
is still used
tines throughout the
world. Benedict’s twin
sister, Saint Scholas-
tica, heads a commu-
nity of women near
at Monte Cassino. She
later is named the
patron saint of nuns.
Monasteries inEurope maintainthe literature of theancient world, andChristian scriptureis preserved andcopied. Larger monasteries are centersof cultural and eco
What does love look like? It has thehands to help others. It has the feetto hasten to the poor and needy. Ithas eyes to see misery and want. Ithas the ears to hear the sighs andsorrows of men. That is what lovelooks like.
He who prays and labors lifts
his heart to God with his hands.
FROM THE RULE OF ST. BENEDICT:
Of the Reception of Guests—Let all
guests who arrive be received as
Christ, because he will say: “I was
a stranger and you took me in”
(Matt. 25: 35).