Rule of Saint Benedict

The Rule of Saint Benedict is the spiritual basis for a life in keeping with Benedictine tradition. It gives the biblical message for the monks’ search for God a practical shape.

Key topics include prayer, togetherness, work and becoming whole in the community. The 73 chapters of the Rule provide guidelines for all of life. They are structured as follows:

  • Community under the Rule and abbot
  • The art of spirituality
  • Shared prayer
  • The organisation of the monastery
  • Daily provisions
  • The daily routine
  • Outside relationships of the monastery
  • Rules for admission
  • Rules for service
  • Love and community

Freedom to search for God

The goal of monastic life is to be free to pursue the search for God, which is the central element of the monastic way. To gain and maintain this freedom, the Rule demands the constancy of monastic life, moral conduct and obedience. Shared prayer several times a day, personal reading of the bible or the works of theological or spiritual authors and work form the basis of monastic life.

The Rule of Saint Benedict points the way for living as a monk according to the Gospel, following the example of Jesus. But time and time again, people outside the monastery have also been inspired and encouraged by the Rule to effectively order their lives.


A wealth of literature has been published on the Rule of Saint Benedict and its message:

  • Die Benediktusregel, published on behalf of the Salzburger Äbtekonferenz, Beuron 1996.
  • Janssen, Bodo, Kraftquelle Tradition. Benediktinische Lebenskunst für heute, Münsterschwarzach 2019.
  • Schütz, Christian, Rath, Philippa, Der Benediktinerorden, Kevelaer 2009.
  • Holzherr, Georg, Lebens-weise. Die Benediktsregel – eine Spiritualität des Friedens, Freiburg 2008.
  • Puzicha, Michaela, Benedikt von Nursia begegnen, Augsburg 2008.
  • Holzherr, Georg, Die Benediktsregel: Eine Anleitung zu christlichem Leben, Fribourg 2007.
Andechs Monastery Emblem