Westren Monasticism Benedict as Examplar Pope Gregory the great

Summary of the Life and Miracles This book was written by Pope Gregory c 540 – 604) in the 6th century as a biography of Benedict (487- 547). It lists a number of miracles and other events in the saints life in 38 chapters.
The book begins with a prologue which is a very positive short biography of the great man. Gregory had had acquaintance with four men who knew him well. Gregory admits that there is much he did not know, but nevertheless sets out to tell what he did know.
Because the book is made up of stories told to Gregory by four different people it is difficult to arrange all these stories chronologically, although the last but one chapter does include Benedict’s foretelling of his own death.
In chapter 3 Gregory describes how the other monks could not match him, and even conspired against him, yet it is clear from the prologue that his work continued in other hands, including those who told his stories.
The miracles listed vary from the almost mundane mending of a broken sieve ( Chapter 1) to such matters as how he overcame temptation to sin sexually( chapter 2). They go to include freeing someone from a devil ( Chapter 16). foreseeing the future ( Chapter 17). In chapter 32 Gregory tells how he was able to raise a child from the dead.
In chapter 23 we are told about some nuns who sinned on earth, but for whom Gregory was able to intervene in heaven. This is both questioned and explained, using scripture.
In chapter 33 Gregory records a miracle carried out by St Scolastica, the sister of St Benedict and this is followed by the story of her ascension into heaven.
How Benedict was able to write his famous rules for monastic life is recorded in chapter 36.
The final chapter records how a woman was cured simply by sleeping in what had been Benedict’s cave, so the miracles were believed to continue after his death.
Gregory 1, The Second Book of the Dialogues Containing the Life and Miracles of St Benedict (Bennet ) of Nursia.6th century, accessed 9th June 2014 http://www.intratext.com/x/eng0062.htm