Benedict was born Mark Passionei in the duchy of Urbino. He was the seventh of eleven children of noble parents, Dominic Passionei and Magdalen Cibo. His father died when he was four years old and his mother died when he was seven years old. The children were then sent to Cagli and placed under the care of tutors. Drawn to silence and solitude, Mark frequented the local church and at 17, began his study of philosophy at the University of Perugia. As a student, Mark set aside time for prayer, scripture study and meditation. Together with a friend, Mark also got involved in charitable enterprises. He continued his education at the University of Padua.
After obtaining a Degree in Law at Padua, Mark entered the Capuchin Order. Ordained a priest, he dedicated himself completely to the preaching ministry, and attracted the faithful by his spirit of prayer, joy and poverty. For four years, he was part of a team of Capuchins ministering in Bohemia - under the direction of Lawrence of Brindisi - for the defense and propagation of the Catholic Faith. For reasons of health, however, Benedict was forced to return to his home province. Despite his ailments, he continued to minister, especially among the poor.
He died on April 30, 1625 and was beatified by Pope Pius IX on January 15, 1867.