The missionary effectiveness of the monks usually depended as much upon their plain virtues as upon more highly visible exertions in preaching or teaching. For a monastery to be established in a pagan area allowed the local population to see the application of Christianity to daily existence, as monks tilled the soil, welcomed visitors, and carried out the offices of study and daily prayer. So arose the saying that the monks civilized Europe cruce, libro, et atro - with cross, book, and plow.
I really like the sound and idea of that. Something to chew on for Tuesday.