Thursday, March 21, 2019

A Visit to the Abbey of Montecassino

For the feast of St Benedict, we are happy to publish some photos of the abbey of Montecassino taken by our friend Jordan Hainsey, who has shared a lot of beautiful images with us over the years, and was there recently during the Italian pilgrimage of St Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

The courtyard leading into the abbey church, which, like any good monastic foundation, has its own well.

The high altar.
The place in front of the main sanctuary where St Benedict was originally buried; there is still a debate as to whether his relics are still there, or were translated after the abbey was destroyed in the early Middle Ages to the French Abbey of Fleury, also known as Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire.
More decorations in the Neapolitan Baroque style, beautifully reconstructed after the church was destroyed during World War II.
Looking back on the countryside of Campania.
Statues of Ss Benedict and Scholastica in the courtyard.
The church possesses a very impressive collection of relics; here we see a prelatitial habit of the Blessed Cardinal Ildephonse Schuster, who was a Benedictine monk for almost 30 years before his appointment to the See of Milan in 1929. He was Procurator General of the Cassinsense Benedictine Congregation from 1914-29, and was elected abbot of the monastery of St Paul Outside-the-Walls in Rome in 1918.
Fr Boniface Hicks, OSB, director of spiritual formation at St Vincent Seminary, celebrated Mass for the pilgrimage group in the chapel which houses a lot of the relics.
Mosaic decoration in the crypt, in a more modern (but very worthy) style.
Here we see mosaics of the crests of various abbeys and bishops of the Cassinense Congregation...
... including the Archabbey of St Vincent.

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