Rorate Caeli

Norcia Quake! - Updated

Praying for our many friends and acquaintances in Norcia (Nursia), Umbria, Italy, following the devastating earthquake there a few hours ago. More news as soon as possible.

Parce, Domine, parce populo tuo:
ne in aeternum irascaris nobis.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Italian broadcasters speak of at least 38 dead at the moment, including in hamlets devastated by the quake.

First and second updates from the monks of Norcia below:

First: We are OK. We are alive, and there are no serious injuries to report. Sadly, there are many injuries to report among the people of the region, especially those in small mountain villages. Please pray for them. We monks will do what we can to contribute here on the ground, but we'll need your spiritual support in a special way during this period.

Second: We, as many others in Norcia and surrounding areas, suffered a lot of damage to our buildings and especially to our basilica. It will take some time to assess the extent of the damage, but it is very sad to see the many beautiful restorations we've made to St. Benedict's birthplace reduced, in a moment, to disrepair.

Third: What can you do? Please, pray for us, for those who have lost their lives, who have lost someone they love, who have lost their homes and livelihoods. We will need your help, as always but now in a special way, to start the project of rebuilding. Please consider making a gift to help us get started.

The Monks of Norcia

Second update of the day by the monks of Norcia:

Dear Friends,

After a careful study of the developing seismic situation in our region of Italy, as a precautionary measure, we have decided to transfer our community to Rome.

The monks of the international Benedictine headquarters at St. Anselmo in Rome have kindly offered our monks a place to remain during this period of uncertainty. We would be grateful if you added the monks of St. Anselmo to your prayers for their generosity during our time of need.

While the community is in Rome, two monks will remain in Norcia to keep watch over the basilica and monitor the developing situation. They will avoid danger by sleeping in tents outside the city walls.

We strive to maintain the order of the Rule even during the most difficult of circumstances, and this transfer, while disruptive, will ensure the safety of our monks and grant us all the peace to continue to practice our monastic life.

Please continue to pray for our community, and consider giving a gift ( to help our effort to rebuild.

The Monks of Norcia

[Images sent to Rorate via Twitter, by a reader]