Basilica of St Benedict destroyed in new Norcia earthquake

Norcia, Italy was shaken by another large earthquake today, magnitude 6.6.  The monks of Norcia are safe, but the Basilica has been utterly destroyed.  They ask for our prayers, not only for them but for the people of the area. While suffering alongside them, the monks are also trying to pray and minister to them.

News footage shows drone views of Amatrice and Norcia. As the image below shows, the Cathedral and Basilica in Norcia have been destroyed.

Town plaza in Norcia, October 30, 2016
Town plaza in Norcia, October 30, 2016

Reports of this third quake (the previous just 2 days before) in the area in just two months indicate just how difficult this is for the people of central Italy as well as the monks:

Norcia’s 14th-century Basilica of Saint Benedict, built on the reputed birthplace of the Catholic saint, was reduced to rubble.

The church is looked after by an international community of Benedictine monks based in a local monastery which attracts some 50,000 pilgrims every year.

“It was like a bomb went off,” the town’s deputy mayor, Pierluigi Altavilla told Rai News 24.

“We are starting to despair. There are too many quakes now, we can’t bear it anymore.”

Damage was also reported at St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome, one of the four cathedrals of the Holy See.  It is also home to and maintained by a community of Benedictines.

Images from a pilgrimage to Norcia with a group of Benedictine Sisters in 2010

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