Friday, January 20, 2017


We certainly add our prayers to  those of our Benedictine brothers.

January 20, 2017

Dear Friends,

As of this writing, an avalanche caused by earthquakes this week has so decimated a
nearby ski resort that many have perished and others are still trapped inside. The
continuing fury of the trembling earth below us means I return to writing what I
have already written several times since August 24, 2016, each time with more
sadness, each time with more awareness of our own littleness: the monks are safe,
our buildings received a little more damage but most importantly our prayers are
with those men and women suffering under the rubble and the service personnel trying
to rescue them. May God bring them strength in their time of trial.

I was taking the novitiate for a trip to Monte Cassino, 4 hours south of Norcia when
news of the 5.5 earthquake reached us. That morning we offered Mass at St Benedict’s
tomb, on the ancient site that had itself been destroyed 3 times in its own
1500-year history. The large monastic church rebuilt from scratch after WWII was
empty and silent. As we prayed, we contemplated the mystery of God’s Providence
which permits unspeakable tragedy so that good might be all the more loved and
sought after. A few hours later, Central Italy, already under an unusual blanket of
3 feet of snow, was brought back to its knees, reminded that this earthquake has not
yet finished its course and we must once again be patient.
At Mass, at the Divine Office, and in each monk’s personal devotions, our prayer is
both one of trying to accept, fiat fiat, and one of intercession for mercy, for pax.

With continued thanks for your generous support and many emails and messages of

Fr. Benedict Nivakoff
The Monks of Norcia

Monastero di San Benedetto
Via Reguardati 22
Norcia, PG 06046

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