Today’s Reading from the Rule of St. Benedict

Reading for: February, 26

Chapter 21: On the Deans of the Monastery

“If the community is a large one, let there be chosen out of it brethren of good repute and holy life, and let them be appointed deans. These shall take charge of their deaneries in all things, observing the commandments of God and the instructions of their Abbot.

Let men of such character be chosen deans that the Abbot may with confidence share his burdens among them. Let them be chosen not by rank but according to their worthiness of life and the wisdom of their doctrine.

If any of these deans should become inflated with pride and found deserving of censure, let him be corrected once, and again, and a third time. If he will not amend, then let him be deposed and another be put in his place who is worthy of it.

And we order the same to be done in the case of the Prior.”



Note:  To be inclusive, the even-numbered chapters below have been adapted for a women’s community and the odd-numbered chapters are for a men’s community.

Selections above from Saint Benedict’s Rule for Monasteries, translated from the Latin by Leonard J. Doyle OblSB, of Saint John’s Abbey, (© Copyright 1948, 2001, by the Order of Saint Benedict, Collegeville, MN 56321). Adapted for use here with the division into sense lines of the first edition that was republished in 2001 to mark the 75th anniversary of Liturgical Press. Doyle’s translation is available in both hardcover and paperback editions.

Benedict’s Rule: A Translation and Commentary by Terrence G. Kardong, O.S.B. is the first line-by-line exegesis of the entire Rule of Benedict written originally in English. This full commentary — predominately literary and historical criticism — is based on and includes a Latin text of Regula Benedicti (Liturgical Press).

RB 1980 in Latin and English with Notes is a modern, scholarly translation ed. by Timothy Fry, OSB (Liturgical Press, 1981), 672 p. The translation by itself is also available in paperback.