The Charism of Norcia
The Benedictines are not a centralized order. Rather, each house enjoys a considerable degree of autonomy, since it is the abbot who interprets the Rule for that particular community. For this reason there can be a great deal of difference from one monastery to another: traditions form based on history, culture and local circumstances.
The Monastero di San Benedetto in Norcia is unique for two reasons:
- It was founded from scratch in 1998 without being conditioned by previous historical circumstances.
- It is located at the birthplace of St. Benedict, and therefore is in a privileged position to draw from the sources of Benedictine spirituality, namely the Rule of St. Benedict as well as the pre-Benedictine monastic tradition. The Vatican II document on Religious Life, Perfectae Caritatis, urges religious to return to the spirit of the founder, and that’s what we are trying to do.
What that means, practically speaking, is that we pray the full monastic Office as laid out in the Rule. We observe the monastic fast and we have retained the patrimony of Gregorian chant. In addition, the Holy See has entrusted us with the special apostolate of celebrating the Eucharist in both forms (in utroque usu), that is, the Ordinary Form and the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. We do all kinds of work (manual, clerical and intellectual) including some limited apostolic work. Monastic formation in Norcia focuses heavily on the interior life: conversion, self-knowledge, the rooting out of vices and the acquiring of virtues – all this to create the necessary conditions for contemplative prayer.
We are a young international community, eager to love and serve Our Lord Jesus Christ with all our heart.