A Christian religious order following the rule of St. Benedict of Nursia (ca. 480-547). St. Benedict's rule is a detailed guide for the government and spiritual and material welfare of a monastery. By the 7th century the rule was also being applied to women and by the early 9th century it had supplanted most other monastic styles in northern and western Europe. Benedictines hold to the well-rounded daily routine of prayer, manual labor, and study prescribed by St. Benedict. Stability, group prayer, and obedience to the abbot are emphasized. The order, which is composed of autonomous monasteries, has a long tradition of scholarship and teaching.