The text of the Holy Rule here rendered into English is that of D. Paul de Ferrariis, reprinted at the Archabbey of Montecassino in 1872, and the aim of the translator was to render it so that St. Benedict would recognize his Rule in this English dress as he wrote it at Montecassino.
May the blessing of St. Benedict accompany this translation, that the high ideal of monastic perfection unfolded in its pages may be realize to the full in the lives of the sons and the daughters of the great Father and Founder of Western Monasticism.—The Translator
For many Centuries the Rule of St. Benedict was the favorite handbook of educators, of heads of families, and of rulers in Church and State; its inspiration and teaching is still shaping the spiritual life, the intellectual and other activities of many thousands in the world of today.
Renewed interest in things Benedictine makes a more popular edition of this venerable little work desirable, so that ever greater numbers may avail themselves of the caluable pedgogical, ascetical and litugical principles whish it contains.
Laws and rules of life, unlike dogmas, call for changes and adjustments to suit the requirements of different times and places. St Benedict himslef made provision for such adaptiations and modifications; they go under the name of Declarations to the Rule, and for Religious who make vows according to the Rule, they have the same force as the Rule itself. However, that the spirit o fth Rule and its Founder may remain intact, theese changes affecting more that the outward mode of life, are not left to the arbitrary will of individuals, but must have the approval of the supreme authority in the Church, the Holy See.
This little book contains the url so fSt. Benedict as it came down to us from the sixth century, without any subsquent changes or modifications. The fundamental tenets laid down in his Rule by the Patriarch of Western Monasticism are as full of meaning and vigor today as they were in the days of the conversion of Europe by the Monks of St. Benedict.
"The man of God, Benedict," says Pope St. Gregory the Great, "among the many wonderful works that made him famous in this world, was also conspicuous for his teaching: for he wrote a rule for monks, remarkable for dicretion and rich in instruction.
-Martin Veth O.S.B.