Our prayers go out to those affected by the 6.6 magnitude earthquake that rocked Umbria, the most powerful earthquake to hit Italy in decades.
One casualty of the quake was the 14th century basilica of St. Benedict, built over top of his home and his burial place, and cared for by the (mostly American) Benedictine Monks of Norcia.
From Yahoo News
The destruction of the Norcia basilica was the single most significant loss of Italy's artistic heritage in an earthquake since a tremor in 1997 caused the collapse of the ceiling of the Basilica of St Francis in Assisi, which is 80 km to the north.
The frescoed basilica, which is the spiritual, historic and tourist heart of Norcia, was built over the site of the home where the founder of the Benedictine order and his Sister St. Scolastica were born in 480.
The basilica and monastery complex dates to the 13th century, although shrines to St. Benedict and his sister had been built there since the 8th century.The quake was felt as far away as the Eternal City herself.
Thankfully, it seems, the earthquake claimed no lives.
Join me in praying for those living in the area. CatholicTradition.org has some prayers our ancestors prayed in these times and the traditional saints to invoke.
In this case, turning to St. Benedict might be best. From the Novena to St. Benedict:
"O Glorious St. Benedict, sublime model of all virtues, pure vessel of God's grace! Behold me, humbly kneeling at thy feet. I implore thy loving heart to pray for me before the throne of God. To thee I have recourse in all the dangers which daily surround me. Shield me against my enemies, inspire me to imitate thee in all things. May thy blessings be with me always, so that I may shun whatever God forbids and avoid the occasions of sin."
"Help me, O great St. Benedict, to live and die as a faithful child of God, to be ever submissive to His holy will, and to attain the eternal happiness of heaven. Amen."
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