The destroyed basilica

The Basilica is destroyed…

Around 7:40 AM, a powerful earthquake struck close to Norcia. The monks are all safe, but our hearts go immediately to those affected, and the priests of the monastery are searching for any who may need the Last Rites.

The Basilica of St. Benedict, the historic church built atop the birthplace of St. Benedict, was flattened by this most recent quake. May this image serve to illustrate the power of this earthquake, and the urgency we monks feel to seek out those who need the Sacraments on this difficult day for Italy.

UPDATE — 3:15 PM

After offering spiritual support to the people in town following this morning’s intense earthquake, the entire monastic community is together again at our mountain monastery which overlooks a now fractured Norcia. Messages are pouring in from all over the world, and we are grateful for your prayers for us and for the people affected.

Because we want to be present to the people of Norcia, and also due to the poor cellular and internet connectivity this emergency has created in the area, we will be difficult to reach by phone or e-mail for a while. We want to assure our friends and family that we are safe, and also that we are doing everything possible to help to our suffering neighbors. Please continue to pray Norcia.