The monastery at Subiaco established in Italy by Saint Benedict of Nursia circa 529 was the first of a dozen monasteries founded by him. Even so, there is no evidence to suggest that he intended to found an order. To the contrary, the Rule of St Benedict presupposes the autonomy of each community. Despite the absence of a Benedictine order, since most monasteries founded during the Middle Ages adopted the Rule of St Benedict, it became the standard for Western Monasticism.
Today Benedictine monasticism is fundamentally different from other Western religious orders insofar as its individual communities are not part of a religious order with "Generalates" and "Superiors General". Rather, in modern times, the various autonomous houses have formed themselves loosely into congregations (for example, Cassinese, English, Solesmes, Subiaco, Camaldolese, Sylvestrines) that in turn are represented in the Benedictine Confederation that came into existence through Pope Leo XIII's Apostolic Brief "Summum semper" on July 12, 1883. This organization facilitates dialogue of Benedictine communities with each other and the relationship between Benedictine communities and other religious orders and the church at large.
The Rule of Saint Benedict is also used by a number of religious orders that began as reforms of the Benedictine tradition such as the Cistercians and Trappists although none of these groups are part of the Benedictine Confederation.
The largest number of Benedictines are Roman Catholics, but there are also some within the Anglican Communion and occasionally within other Christian denominations as well, for example, within the Lutheran Church.
Read more about this topic: Benedictine Monasteries
Famous quotes containing the words historical and/or development:
“Culture is the name for what people are interested in, their thoughts, their models, the books they read and the speeches they hear, their table-talk, gossip, controversies, historical sense and scientific training, the values they appreciate, the quality of life they admire. All communities have a culture. It is the climate of their civilization.”
—Walter Lippmann (18891974)
“As a final instance of the force of limitations in the development of concentration, I must mention that beautiful creature, Helen Keller, whom I have known for these many years. I am filled with wonder of her knowledge, acquired because shut out from all distraction. If I could have been deaf, dumb, and blind I also might have arrived at something.”
—Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (18351910)