St. Benedict established Montecassino in the 6th century with the purpose of creating a safe place, a sacred school and community, free from the vices, distraction, and negativity he observed elsewhere. The monastery is a place of work, prayer and structure for those seeking spiritual life and guidance. Inside the walls of the monastery individuals learn how to live and worship according to the Rule of St. Benedict.



Living as a cenobite monk, one renounces their worldly possessions and distractions, and follows God, putting nothing else before Him. The abbot, a spiritual leader, serves as a father figure to his monks, leading them with love rather than fear. St. Benedict, the first abbot and spiritual father of Montecassino, gave us his Rule as a guide to pious life. Yet he didn't believe in a life of pain and avoidance of joy:

"We must therefore establish a school of the Lord's service. And we hope to establish it as nothing painful, nothing heavy. But if anything a little hard, within reasonable balance, must also be introduced for the correction of faults or the preservation of charity, do not leave immediately and grasp dismay and abandon the path of health... with the advance in monastic virtue and with faith, your heart expands, and the path of God's commandments is followed in the unspeakable sweetness of love. So, not ever having departed from the teaching of God, and adhering to his teachings in the monastery until death, with perseverance, we associate with the sufferings of Christ that we may deserve to be part of his kingdom. Amen." (Rule of St. Benedict, Prologue)

Despite tragedies, many destructions, and instability in the world around it, Montecassino and the message written within has survived with great help from its devoted followers and community. It is for this reason that Montecassino is seen as the solid rock and foundation it is today – overcoming great difficulty through unwavering faith.