St. Benedict of Nursia (480 – 547)
Monastery Tools should be Treated as Sacred Vessels
In the Rule of St. Benedict, there is a requirement to treat with the utmost of care the equipment which the monks product. A stewardship of barnyard implements is to be as careful as the implements of the altar.
Look upon all the tools and all the property of the monastery as if they were sacred altar vessels.
~ Rule of St. Benedict, Nr. XXI, 10 (Centenario, p. 76) In The Roots of Christian Mysticism. By Oliver Clement. New City Press, 1995, p. 226.
The Father of Western monasticism, he was brought up in the small Italian town of Nursia. After entering into a solitary religious life, students and seekers soon flocked to him because of his reputation for sanctity, wisdom, wise counsel and miracles. He extended his ministry not just to those who sought his monastic haven, but also to the surrounding population: he cured their sick, relieved the distressed, distributed alms and fed the poor. His charity extended equally to animals and he always fed and befriended the creatures that came near his monastery at Monte Cassino.