What was the function of medieval monasteries?

Monasteries were Christian institutions of the medieval Europe where devout Christians lead a life of isolation dedicated to the worship of God. These monasteries were located far from the areas of human habitation. The two famous monasteries were St. Benedict in Italy and Cluny in Burgundy. The functions performed by these monasteries are as follows:

1) Preaching: Monks and nuns moved from one place to another to spread the words of Christianity among the people.

2) Charity: Monasteries served the sick and arranged food for the hungry people. The monasteries served as inns for the travellers. They could halt at these monasteries and then continue their journey.

3) Learning centres: Monasteries provided education to the community children and those who wanted to become monks.

4) Cultural Enrichment:
(i) Most monks and nuns were educated and learned, so they spent their time copying books and masterpieces like the works of Cicero and Virgil.
(ii) Monks were also the chroniclers; they noted down all important events of their times.
(iii) Monasteries served as important centres of art. Monks and nuns served God as His creative artists. One brilliant example is Abbess Hildegard who developed the practice of community singing in churches.

  • 3
What are you looking for?