Saint Benedict was born in Nursia in central Italy in the the year 480. In his 20s he left the world for solitude, and became a hermit. He spent his days in prayer, and mortified his flesh in repentance for his sins.
He is considered the founder of Western monasticism, as he planted twelve monasteries in Italy. The monastic Rule of Saint Benedict was influenced by the writings of Saint John Cassian and emphasizes moderation. His Rule remains a foundational tenet of Western monasticism to this day.
He fell asleep on March 21, 543. His feast is celebrated on March 21 and July 11 in the West, and on March 14 in the East.