(Restoration! Yes, but only to pose for a photograph!) SAINT BENEDICT, MONKS, SHARP OBJECTS, ALCOHOL
St. Benedict died on 21 March A.D. 547. Back in the sixth century, monks wore knives at the belt like everyone else. The knife was a multi-purpose tool for both eating and working. At some point during the one and a half millennia since the life of St. Benedict, monks discontinued the wearing of a knife.
How cool it would be if the Benedictine habit still included a knife at the belt! Make mine a Ka-Bar! Actually a short medieval dagger would be more in keeping with the habit.
Here’s what St. Benedict had to say about monks and knives.
Chapter 55: On the Clothes and Shoes of the Brethren
.... And in order that this vice of private ownership may be cut out by the roots, the Abbot should provide all the necessary articles— hooded garment, tunic, stockings, shoes, belt, knife, stylus, needle, handkerchief, writing tablets— that all pretext of need may be taken away.
Chapter 22: How the Monks Should Sleep
.... Let them sleep clothed and girded with belts or cords, but not with their knives at their sides, lest they cut themselves in their sleep.
Whenever St. Benedict expressly prohibits or discourages something, I’m sure he does so because he finds it necessary. From experience.
Here’s something similar.
Chapter 40: On the Measure of Drink
.... We read it is true, that wine is by no means a drink for monks; but since the monks of our day cannot be persuaded of this let us at least agree to drink sparingly and not to satiety, because "wine makes even the wise fall away".
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More about the Clothing of Monks.