He then went abroad and after a second journey to Rome (he made five altogether) lived as a monk at Lerins on the Mediterranean coast of France (665-667). It was under his conduct that Theodore of Tarsus came from Rome to Canterbury in 669, and in the same year Benedict was appointed abbot of Ss. Peter and Paul's, Canterbury.
Five years later he built the monastery of St Peter at Wearmouth, on land granted him by Ecgfrith of Northumbria, and endowed it with a library. A papal letter in 678 exempted the monastery from external control, and in 682 Benedict erected a sister foundation (St Paul) at Jarrow. Bede tells us that he brought builders and glass-workers from the Francia to erect the buildings in stone.