New earthquake destroys Basilica of St. Benedict in Italy

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New earthquake destroys Basilica of St. Benedict in Italy

A 6.6-magnitude quake – Italy’s strongest in decades – has struck the region around Norcia in central Italy. This is the same area where 300 were killed in a quake in August. No one appears to have been killed today, but the Basilica of St. Benedict has been completely destroyed.

The Monastery of St. Benedict sits above the fifth century ruins of the house of St. Benedict and his twin sister St. Scholastica, and has been the location of monastic communities since the tenth century. Their website at https://en.nursia.org/ tells the following story:

“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.”

A later update:

“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.”

Please hold in your prayers all the people who have suffered more loss after this latest earthquake.

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“Before all, and above all, attention shall be paid to the care of the sick, so that they shall be served as if they were Christ Himself.”
–St. Benedict of Nursia, The Rule of Saint Benedict