Catholic World News

Earthquake damage drives monks from Norcia monastery

August 24, 2016

The powerful earthquake that ripped through Italy, leaving more than 120 people dead, had its epicenter near Norcia, the home of St. Benedict, and drove monks there to seek temporary safety in Rome.

The Benedictine community at Norcia reported no casualties from the earthquake, but serious damage to the monastery buildings and particularly to St. Benedict's basilica. "It will take some time to assess the extent of the damage," said a statement from the Norcia monks; "but it is very sad to see the many beautiful restorations we've made to St. Benedict's birthplace reduced, in a moment, to disrepair.” 

To ensure their safety in case of aftershocks, the Benedictines have moved temporarily to Rome "as a precautionary measure." They will be lodged at St. Anselmo, the international headquarters of the Benedictine order. Two monks will remain in Norcia-- "sleeping in tents outside the city walls"-- to watch over the basilica and monastery.


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