Sunday, April 10, 2011

Italy Day 11 {Monte Cassino}

Main altar at Monte Casino Basilica, Casino, Italy

Bridget and Tim decend to the crypt below the main altar at Monte Casino.

View from the front steps at the Basilica of Monte Casino

Metalwork on the gate leading into the abby

Our Zachary with Pope Saint Zachary at Monte Cassino, Cassino, Italy

Perched atop a rocky cliff above the town of Cassino, the Benedictine Monastery of Monte Cassino dates to the 500's.  However, the structures were largely rebuilt after being bombed in WWII.  Unbelievable beauty greeted us in the Basilica of Monte Cassino; just as we arrived evening prayer (Vespers) was beginning and all tourists were ushered out.  Glad for the opportunity to enter into reverent community prayer with the monks in this holy place, we found seats and shared in evening prayer.  Imagining the thousands of holy people who have worshiped in this place was awe inspiring.  Finding the crypt of St. Benedict in the hidden underground church below the Basilica gave us another spot for quiet and prayer.

  • Pulling into Rome on the Autostrade on a sunny Sunday evening could mean waits of up to one hour simply to pay the toll and drive into the city.
  • Aggressive drivers may only wait half as long.
  • Emergency vehicles may use bumper car style driving to literally push other cars out of the way so that their wait is lessened (whether or not there is an actual emergency).

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