Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $36,642 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

BENEDICTINES

The men and women religious who follow the Rule of St. Benedict (480-547). Founded about 529 at Monte Cassino, some eighty miles south of Rome, the Benedictine Order early included both monks and nuns. The latter were separately established by St. Benedict with the help of his sister, St. Scholastica (480-543). Originally each monastery was an independent and self-sustaining unit, and this principle remains substantially in effect to the present day.

It is customary to distinguish four stages in the history of the Benedictines: 1. from St. Benedict to St. Gregory the Great who died in A.D. 604. The latter as monk who became pope extended the Benedictine ideal into other countries and through his Dialogues developed the ascetical principles of the founder; 2. from the sixth century to the foundation of the Cistercians at Cîteaux, St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) began a form of Benedictinism that was more austere; 3. from Cîteaux to the Council of Trent. During this period a grouping of monasteries and a development of the monastic way of life took place, affecting the whole of Western Europe. There was also decadence due to the inroads of the pagan renaissance; 4. from Trent to the Second Vatican Council. The Council of Trent passed decrees regulating monastic life, e.g., election of superiors, administration of property, prescriptions on poverty and common life. These had the salutary effect of joining autonomous monasteries into confederations and thus giving the Benedictine way of life a co-ordinated unity that St. Benedict assumed was necessary to grow in sanctity and the love of God.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Could respect for the papacy mean resisting the Pope? 6 hours ago
The Church Moves On, Slowly October 24
Is Cardinal Kasper losing his grip? October 24
The Pope is not the problem October 23
Do not confuse sacramental discipline and Catholic doctrine. October 23

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6