Wednesday, January 18, 2017

More Earthquakes in Italy - The Monks are Safe

Central Italy was rocked by earthquakes once again today, three of them within an hour. The first took place at 10:25 a.m. local time, 5.1 on the Richter scale, the second at 11:14, a 5.4, and the third at 11:25, a 5.3. All three were centered in the province of L’Aquila, which is within the Abruzzi region, but very close to the part of Umbria which includes Norcia, and where significant earthquakes struck last year at the end of August, and again at the end of October. (L’Aquila itself was hit by a very powerful earthquake in 2009.)

I spoke with someone who is very close to the community of the Benedictine Monks of Norcia, who reports that they are fine; however, there will certainly be damage to many of the communities which were already hit by the earlier seismic events, and are also experiencing an unusually harsh winter this year. Thus far, Italian newspapers are not reporting any casualties.

The Patron Saint of nearby Ascoli Piceno, St Emygdius, a bishop and martyr of the persecution of Diocletian, has long been invoked by the Italians against earthquakes, and was so renowned for this devotion that his feast on August 9th was also adopted by several Californian dioceses. These prayers from First Vespers of his proper Office would be appropriate way to ask that Italy be spared any further harm from this event; I have added the prayer against earthquakes from the Roman Missal.

Aña : Emygdius spíritu oris sui idolórum cultum et templa subvertit; quos in Christo génuit filios, illos fidéliter a ruínis terraemótus servávit.
V. Amávit eum Dóminus et ornávit eum. R. Stolam gloriae índuit eum.
Orémus. Oratio Deus, qui beátum Emygdium, Mártyrem tuum atque Pontíficem, idolórum victoria et miraculórum gloria decorasti: concéde propitius; ut, eo interveniente, malórum spirítuum fraudes víncere et coruscáre virtútibus mereámur.
Omnípotens sempiterne Deus, “qui réspicis terram, et facis eam trémere:” parce metuéntibus, propitiáre supplícibus; ut, cujus iram terrae fundamenta concutientem expávimus, clementiam contritiónes ejus sanantem júgiter sentiámus. Per Christum, Dóminum nostrum. Amen.

Aña : Emygdius by the breath of his mouth overthrew the worship of idols and the temples; he faithfully kept the sons whom he had begotten in Christ from the ruin of the earthquake.
V. The Lord loved him and adorned him. R. He clothed him with a robe of glory.
Let us pray. Prayer O God, who didst honor the blessed Emygdius, Thy Martyr and Bishop, with victory over idols and the glory of miracles: grant in Thy mercy, that by his intervention, we may merit to overcome the deceits of wicked spirits, and shine forth with virtues.
Almighty and everlasting God, Who lookest down upon the earth and makest it tremble, spare those who are afraid, show Thy mercy to those who implore Thee; that we who fear Thine anger, which shaketh the foundations of the earth, may evermore enjoy Thy mercy, which healeth its commotions. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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