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English and Dutch: from the medieval personal name Benedict (Latin Benedictus meaning ‘blessed’). This owed its popularity in the Middle Ages chiefly to St. Benedict of Norcia (c.480–550), who founded the Benedictine order of monks at Monte Cassino and wrote a monastic rule that formed a model for all subsequent rules. No doubt the meaning of the Latin word also contributed to its popularity as a personal name, especially in Romance countries.