ABOVE: Catiuscia Marini, the President of Umbria, Italy and dear friend of the monastery, visits with the Monks of Norcia.
Our life as monks has entered an entirely new phase, one we never expected but in which we see, unmistakably, God’s hand. He asks us to build up our community here on the mountain strongly and decisively based on prayer and conversion so that we might become saints for our time. He also asks us to rebuild the ruins of our monastery at St. Benedict’s home and to make it a source of light, hope and truth for monks and nuns throughout the world, as well as for all those who long for God.
In the days of aftershocks since last Sunday’s powerful quake that destroyed our ancient basilica and monastery, God has brought calm to our monks’ hearts in this new mission. In fact, one of our observers went ahead and received the tonsure and choir cape of postulancy at Vespers the same evening of the massive quake. We offered him the chance to go home, of course, but he would hear nothing of it. That is the way with this earthquake: it binds the monks to the very ground that shakes.
ABOVE: The President of Italy, Sergio Mattarella, visits Norcia.
Visitors now regularly include state officials and international celebrities. The President of Italy came two days ago and gave personal greetings to the 3 monks who had served the faithful on the morning of the earthquake. The new Abbot Primate joined us also for prayer and a meal in fraternal support. We are cheered by these and in awe at the worldwide outpouring of support. We have become friends with the firefighters who now guard the entire city. A forced evacuation has meant the whole town is now empty.
ABOVE: A look at some of the recent donations the monks have received.
We pray and watch from the mountainside, thinking of the long three years St. Benedict spent in the cave before God decided to call him out to become a light to the world. Fiat. Fiat.