Holy Rule Of Saint Benedict
Of the Porter of the Monastery
Let a wise old man be placed at the door of the monastery, one who
knoweth how to take and give an answer, and whose mature age doth not
permit him to stray about.
The porter should have a cell near the door, that they who come may
always find one present from whom they may obtain an answer. As soon as
anyone knocketh or a poor person calleth, let him answer, "Thanks be to
God," or invoke a blessing, and with the meekness of the fear of God
let him return an answer speedily in the fervor of charity. If the
porter hath need of assistance, let him have a younger brother.
If it can be done, the monastery should be so situated that all the
necessaries, such as water, the mill, the garden, are enclosed, and the
various arts may be plied inside of the monastery, so that there may be
no need for the monks to go about outside, because it is not good for
their souls. But we desire that this Rule be read quite often in the
community, that none of the brethren may excuse himself of ignorance.