|Monk begging for food and money
Monasteries were an important part of any community,
providing spiritual leadership to those living around, and they were often
involved in the administration of a town as well.
But monks also relied on a town's generosity to help sustain them. Laden
with his bread-bag, the monk would wander the streets and beg from house
to house, presenting himself at the doors of those who had once been his
friends or his inferiors.
In return, the community would also rely on the expertise and knowledge
of monks who had devoted their lives to study. They would turn to the
monastery for help with sickness and disease; monasteries were the first
institutions to provide ongoing health care - the precursors of modern
And most importantly, the monasteries were often the sites of the first
schools. Originally set up to train young monks in the making, these
schools soon extended their intake to include the children of the local
These monastic schools are still common across Europe, and are
recognised as some of the best available.
| Rules for Monks
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