The Benedictine Way
A voyage through the beauty and culture of the Benedictine abbeys
A visit to the Benedictine abbeys also gives an opportunity to discover the cultural heritage and the traditions passed down by the monks through the centuries: prestigious libraries and restoration workshops, precious woven textiles and tapestries, solemn Gregorian chants during religious ceremonies, as well as the herbs and aromatic plants used to prepare phytotherapy products and renowned herbal tinctures and liqueurs, all for sale in the monasteries alongside home produced honeys, jams and chocolate.
The organised civil society
The monasteries became the principal centres for the diffusion of Christianity in the West, but also demonstrated a new civil way of life that proved decisive for the cultural and moral rebirth of the continent, after the collapse of the society of Late Antiquity. Within the walls of the monasteries, the concept of “organised civil society” was developed and put into practice. Monks lived according to the Benedictine Regula, a democratic code of behaviour, with both individual and collective value, capable of appealing to the conscience of the individual and guaranteeing the quality of communal life. In this way the Benedictine monasteries became real communities, society in miniature, in which meditative and spiritual activities but also cultural, administrative and productive activities were woven together. In this way the message sent out by the numerous Benedictine monastic communities in Europe contributed to the construction of the individual and of modern European society, and represented, as it still does today, a valid point of reference for democratic and civil values.
The stages of the Benedictine Way