St. Benedict and his twin sister St. Scholastica were born in Nursia (modern day Norcia), Italy, in the 5th century AD. The precise date of their birth isn't known but a commonly agreed upon year is 480 AD. St. Benedict and his sister were born into a Christian noble family: father Euprobo and mother Claudia Abundantia. St. Benedict went to Rome for his studies according to his father's wishes, and as was common during the time for children of noble or privileged families. Once he had reached his higher studies, St. Benedict grew weary of life in Rome. He found his companions' lives dissolute and immoral and he himself had been struck by love for a woman. He found his teachers unchristian and corrupt. All of these things led St. Benedict to abandon his studies in Rome to pursue a spiritual life. He left Rome, probably between 500 and 510 AD, with his faithful family nurse Cirilla accompanying him as far as Enfide.
After leaving Rome and Enfide, St. Benedict spent time living as a hermit, in spiritual isolation, living in a cave. Upon the death of the abbot of a nearby monastery, St. Benedict who was known by now for his sanctity was asked to become their new abbot. The unworthy monks attempted to poison him and St. Benedict miraculously escaped harm and returned to his cave. The period that followed was full of growth. St. Benedict built 12 monasteries in Subiaco and resided in the 13th as abbot. But his sacred path didn't end here, and along with his most devoted disciples St. Benedict left Subiaco for Cassino, arriving around the year 529 AD. It was there on the ancient summit where St. Benedict and his most faithful monks built the first abbey of Montecassino, among the ruins of an ancient pagan acropolis. Here he wrote the supremely influential and important Rule and served as the young monastery's first abbot until his death in the mid 6th century.