St. Benedict was the founder of monasticism and Patron of Europe. Along with his sister Santa Scolastica, he was born in Norcia, Umbria, in 480 and he died in the Cassino monastery in 547.
On the parallel roads, the two twins renounced their wealth and began to base their religious orders following what has become known as the Benedictine Rule “Ora Et Labora” (pray and work). In this way, through work, monks become community reference points and agents of society’s change. In a period of profound change with the decay of the Roman empire, monasteries became centres of knowledge and culture. The birth of monasticism corresponds to the very birth of a new social order throughout Europe.
St. Benedict’s Way traces the path of the saint who left Norcia to spend a long time in Subiaco, where he created several monasteries together with his twin sister Santa Scolastica, and passing through Vico nel Lazio, ends at the monastery of Montecassino. The journey is made every year by many pilgrims who have the opportunity to experience a unique long walking path of special beauty.
A special story is that of the Medal of St. Benedict, conceived by Benedict XIV in 1742. The medal gave indulgence to all those who carried it with faith. On the front there is an image of St. Benedict who holds in his right hand a cross high toward the sky and in the left the open book of the Holy Rule. Near the Saint you can see a chalice from which a serpent is coming out, that Saint Benedict crushed with the sign of a cross. It represents a cup containing poisoned wine given to him by assailant monks. On the back is the cross of St. Benedict.