The monastic ideal of the first three centuries is summed up in the father figure of Saint Benedict. We get to know him through his wisdom that pays special attention to each monk's own measure and path.

Thanks to this wise moderation the Rule was introduced at the time in virtually all monasteries in the west. Saint Benedict gave shape to a life of prayer, work and study. The spiritual life and culture of the Europe have much to be thankful for regarding the Rule's influence throughout the centuries of monastic life. That is why Saint Benedict is venerated as the patron saint of Europe.

The Rule's Prologue begins as follows: "Listen my son to the precepts of the master, and incline the ear of your heart to them; take the counsel of a good father willingly and put them into practice faithfully, so that, through obedience, you might turn back to him from whom you had turned away through disobedient desires. And now direct yourself to that word of mine that asks you, by denying your own desires, take up the illustrious armour of obedience to do battle under Christ, the Lord, the true King."