The Benedictines (Latin name: Ordo Sancti Benedicti) - is a Roman Catholic religious order of independent monastic communities that was founded in the VI century and observes the Rule of St. Benedict. Within the order, each individual community (which may be a monastery, a priory or abbey) maintains its own autonomy, while the organization as a whole exists to represent their mutual interests. In the early Middle Ages Benedictine monasteries were the leading cultural centers in Western Europe. Outstanding scientists of that time studied in Benedictine schools located in the abbeys. The Order of Saint Benedict focused on prayers, intellectual studies, religious art, missionary work. The motto of the Order: «Pray and work».