Sunday, October 30, 2016

Birthplace of St. Benedict Flattened by Earthquake

You probably have all heard about the devastating earthquake in Italy, including the terrible damage to the Basilica of St. Benedict and the town of his birth Norcia. As you may recall, there was already a bad earthquake there in August, destroying the Benedictine monastery there. The monks have since  been living in temporary quarters outside of town.

(Aftershocks of the latest earthquake were even felt in Rome, and there is some damage reported to St. Paul Outside the Walls.)

The last message from the superior of Norcia, Fr. Benedict Nivakoff, asks for prayers for the people and for the monks as they help survivors and administer the sacraments to the injured and dying. He also mentioned that connectivity would be limited in the near future, and indeed I find that when I go to the monks' website it is impossible to get beyond the portal. I'm hoping that this will soon change and it will be possible to make online donations.

Update: the donation page appears to be working now. Perhaps my earlier trouble with it was due to--hopefully--more traffic than their server could manage.

Since St. Benedict was largely responsible for the tradition of the liturgical hours as practiced in the western Church today, it seems that those of who pray the Office will be particularly moved by this disaster and motivated to help in some way. To that end, keep checking the monk's website or looking for other online  opportunities to reach them. And in the meantime, if you don't have it already, buy the CD or MP3 version of their collection of Marian chants.