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Monk Begging
Monk begging for food and money
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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 hospitals.

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 community.

These monastic schools are still common across Europe, and are recognised as some of the best available.


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