Monte Cassino, Italy: Abbey & Tomb of Saint Benedict
About the Abbey of Saint Benedict:
One of the more popular saints of all time is buried here, and the site itself has an interesting history. The Abbey was founded by St. Benedict in 529 A.D. over the ruins of a pagan temple. It was destroyed and rebuilt several times over the years until the Tenth century when it was re-occupied by the Monks, only to be almost completely destroyed again by an earthquake in 1349.
In modern times it is perhaps best known for the fierce aerial bombardment by Allied forces during February 1944 as they attempted to liberate Italy. There was much discussion as to whether the Germans were actually using Monte Cassino as an observation post or not. In addition there were refugees in the monastery as well. However the decision was made to bomb the monastery almost to the ground. It was re-built after the war to become the building that it is today.
The Abbey is also the site of many tours of veterans of the Italian campaign, which cost thousands of lives. Nearby is a War Cemetery with over 1,000 Polish soldiers buried there. There is also a British cemetery nearby as well.
The tomb of Saint Benedict ( as well as his twin sister St. Scholastica) is found here and groups often celebrate Mass at his tomb just as many popes, bishops and priests have done before.
Traveling to Monte Cassino:
Monte Cassino is about 80 miles Southeast of Rome. There is train service from Rome, Naples or Bari to the town of Cassino and from there you can take a taxi up to the Abbey. Get train & bus schedules, see fares & buy tickets here (search for Cassino).
Address: Via Montecassino 03043 Cassino FR Italy
GPS coordinates: 41° 29′ 19.9788” N, 13° 48′ 42.6384” E
Tel: +39 0776.311529 Fax: +39 0776.312393
email: [email protected]
Click here for the official website of the Benedictine Abbey at Montecassino