Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ora et Labora

What a truly wonderful day at the abbey of Monte Cassino, the site where both St. Benedict and St. Scholastica are buried! We celebrated Holy Mass next to their tombs...more on that in another post. The photos above include 1) the decorated spot behind the main altar in the abbey basilica marking the tomb (below the altar) containing both St. Benedict and St. Scholastica; 2) the Blessed Sacrament chapel in the abbey basilica; 3) view from the entrance to the abbey basilica; 4) the steps leading to the abbey basilica; and 5) the entrance to the abbey itself (note the window above the large was St. Benedict's very own cell, now a chapel).
As most of you know from history, the Monte Cassino abbey was destroyed 3 times during its history; the latest and most devastating attack by the Allied Forces during WWII. They mistakenly thought the Germans were occupying it and using it to defend the valley below. The Allied Forces bombed the abbey destroying almost everything you see in these pictures except St. Benedict's cell and a few other parts. The abbey was totally rebuilt (as faithful as possible to what had existed there before) in sixteen years upon the completion of WWII.

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