Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER LIII: OF HOW GUESTS ARE TO BE RECEIVED - The Rule of St. Benedict
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CHAPTER LIII: OF HOW GUESTS ARE TO BE RECEIVED - Saint Benedict, The Rule of St. Benedict 
The Rule of St. Benedict, translated into English. A Pax Book, preface by W.K. Lowther Clarke (London: S.P.C.K., 1931).
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OF HOW GUESTS ARE TO BE RECEIVED
Let all guests that happen to come be received as Christ, because He is going to say: “A Guest was I and ye received Me.” And let suitable honour be shewn to them all, especially to those who are of the household of the faith and to strangers. When therefore a guest shall have been announced, let him be met by the superior or by the brethren, with all due courtesy; and let them at once betake themselves to prayer together and so let them associate together in peace, because the kiss of peace may not be offered first, but only when preceded by prayer, so as to avoid the snares of Satan: and in the salutation itself let all humility be manifest. Whenever guests arrive or depart, let Christ be adored in them—for Him indeed we receive in them—by bowing of the head or by full prostration. And when the guests have been received let them be taken to pray and then let the superior, or whomsoever he shall have appointed, sit with them. Let the divine law be read in the presence of a guest, that he may be edified; and after this let all courtesy be shewn him. For hospitality’s sake the superior may break his fast, unless by chance it be a fast-day of obligation, the which cannot be violated: but let the brethren continue to observe their custom of fasting. Let the abbot serve water for the guests’ hands; and let both the abbot and also the whole community wash all the guests’ feet: and the washing finished let them say this versicle: “We have received Thy mercy, O God, in the midst of Thy temple.” And above all let care be scrupulously shewn in receiving the poor and strangers; for in them specially is Christ received. For the fear that the rich inspire itself secures deference for them.
Let there be an abbot’s and guests’ kitchen apart by itself, that guests arriving at unexpected times—and no monastery lacks guests—may not disturb the brethren’s quiet. To this kitchen let two brethren who are well able to do the work be appointed for the year; and let additional help be afforded them, when required, that they may serve without murmuring; and, on the other hand, when they have too little to occupy them let them go forth to other work wherever they may be bidden. And not only in respect to these, but in respect to all the duties of the monastery let the same point be taken into consideration, that when any want it help be afforded them; and, on the other hand, when they have time to spare that they be obedient to any commands given. And again let some brother whose soul the fear of God possesses have a guest chamber assigned him and there let beds be prepared in sufficient number; and let the house of God be wisely conducted by wise men. On no account let anyone to whom it has not been assigned associate with guests or enter into conversation with them; and if he come across or meet them, having saluted humbly as we have already said and asked them Godspeed, let him pass on, saying that it is not permitted him to enter into conversation with a guest.