St. Benedict’s Feast: Assisi Celebrates with Norcia
Only the facade of the Basilica dedicated to St. Benedict still stands in his Norcia following the earthquake of October 30, 2016: a sobering backdrop to the celebration of his feast day this year.
Declared “Patron Saint of Europe” by Pope Paul VI in 1964, San Benedetto, founder of western monasticism and born in Norcia at the end of the fifth century, is feted in his birthplace with fanfare every March 21st.
Locals in medieval dress parade solemnly through medieval alleyways and the Saint’s venerated relics are born in solemn procession, flanked by the Benedictine friars. This year, too – in spite of a melancholic backdrop of eathquake-damaged scaffolded buildings.
And Assisi joined in the Norcia festivities in solidarity this year: our drummers in medieval dress beat out a festive drum roll in front of the statue of St.Benedict encircled with flags of the European countries. Assisi’s sbandieratori (medieval banner wavers) flung their banners high to the sky in front of the facade of the Basilica di San Benedetto which now seems enclosed in a wire cage.
The day was an anniversary for the Assisi sbandieratori exactly forty years prior, they had performed outside of Assisi for the first time.
Read about the earthquake and Norcia here
Read about St. Benedict
Assisi’s medieval banner wavers are always a highlight of our early May festival, Calendimaggio
See the Festa di San Benedetto here (in 2016, before the earthquake devastation)
Read about Norcia, post earthquake – and Pino’s visit there
Read about and see the Ansuini Norcia goodness
Read about the need to sustain economically the earthquake area
Read about Norcia – and earthquake damage
Read about Norcia..and a past visit to la norcineria
See the recipe for pasta alla norcina (a possible earthquake-benefit dish)
Click here for news on the Benedictine monks of Norcia