The spirit of the Holy Rule of Saint Benedict is encapsulated in the prologue's exhortation for the monks to form a school of divine servitude, training one another to worthily enter Christ's kingdom. Such training was meant to nurture love for the commandments of God in the heart of each monk.
The remainder of St. Benedict's life was spent in realizing the ideal of monasticism which he has left us drawn out in his Rule, and before we follow the slight chronological story given by , it will be better to examine the ideal, which, as says, is St. Benedict's real biography (ibid., 36). We will deal here with the Rule only so far as it is an element in St. Benedict's life. For the relations which it bore to the monasticism of previous centuries, and for its influence throughout the West on civil and religious government, and upon the spiritual life of , the reader is referred to the articles and RULE OF SAINT BENEDICT.
Around the year 530, Benedict left Subiaco with some of his disciples headed for Monte Cassino, halfway between Rome and Naples, where he began a single, close-knit community on a mountain top. There he remained until his death around the year 547. It was at Monte Cassino that Benedict completed his “Rule for Monks,” basing it on earlier monastic literature as well as his own original material. Today, the “Rule of Saint Benedict,” as it is commonly called, is considered one of the most important factors in the development of Christian Europe. In time, the Rule became the norm for all monks and nuns in the West. During his lifetime, the monastery at Monte Cassino grew and a foundation was made south of Rome, at Terracina. The monasteries at Subiaco continued as well.