All churches in Norcia ‘lost to quake’ – Benedictines

All churches in the Italian city of Norcia were destroyed in the violent earthquake of October 30, it has been revealed.

In an online post days after the quake from the Benedictine congregation of the city, which itself lost the ancient basilica of San Benedetto, Superior Fr Benedict offered an eyewitness account of the current situation.

“Dear friends,” he writes, “how can I even begin to describe the scene we witnessed in Norcia? It was like those photographs of bombed-out churches from the Second World War. It reminded me of all those ruined monasteries one sees passing through the English countryside. It was an image of devastation. 

“All the churches in Norcia are on the ground. Every single one. The roofs caved in on all of them; they are no more. What remains of them are a few corners, a facade, a window with the sun coming through from the wrong side.

“Is it over yet? We do not know. These are mysteries which will take years – not days or months – to understand. We watch and pray all together on the mountainside for Norcia and for the world. The priests go into town to visit the sick and the homeless. We are grateful for your prayers, as ever.”

Since the initial 6.6 magnitude quake, Norcia and the surrounding region of Umbria has been struck by numerous tremors with one climbing past magnitude 5, bringing further uncertainty to affected Italians, many now homeless and living in emergency accommodation.

Meanwhile in Rome, where the quake was felt, it has been confirmed that minor damage was incurred to historic religious sites, with some closed for assessment.