The Rule of Saint Benedict

The Rule of Saint Benedict (Latin: Regula Sancti Benedicti), written in Latin in 516 by St Benedict of Nursia, has been used for fifteen centuries by monks living communally under the authority of an abbot.

Let easy admission not be given to one who newly cometh to change his life; but, as the Apostle saith, “Try the spirits, whether they be of God” (1 Jn 4:1). If, therefore, the newcomer keepeth on knocking, and after four or five days it is seen that he patiently beareth the harsh treatment offered him and the difficulty of admission, and that he persevereth in his request, let admission be granted him, and let him live for a few days in the apartment of the guests.

Click here to view the English translation PDF,
and click here for the Latin original.

Audio recordings of the Latin and English are available from Librivox on this link.

Analogous documents from the Buddhist tradition can be found in our library following this link.