Saturday, March 07, 2009

Abbey of Monte Cassino: how it's done...








What you see in the photos is the rebuilt Abbey of Monte Cassino. This is because, as older persons know, the whole property was leveled by (American) bombing during WWII.
This is proof that even in our modern era Catholics have the guts and brains to build nice and to do it right. After the war the entire property had to be rebuilt in a hurry and this is the amazing result.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Magnificent abbey. I have a video of Paul VI re-dedicating it in 1964 after the abbey was rebuilt. It was totally destroyed in WW II in 1944.
The British were barbarians to bomb the original monastery.

This abbey, the heart of Benedictine monasticism looks like it could house 1,000 monks. But I know that's impossible.
Do you know how many monks reside there? Considering the disaster of Vatican II, I'm guessing not much more than 30 !

nat said...

jpsonnen said “[…] the whole property was leveled (sic) by English bombing during WWII.”

I cry foul! No; it was the Americans and not the ‘English’ (British). I am aware you are an American. God knows we have enough guilt to bear (like Dresden for example) without talking on those of the Americans then, and since.

The bare facts:
On 15 February 1944 the historic Benedictine Monastery on Monte Cassino was destroyed by 1400 tons of bombs dropped by the American B-17, B-25, and B-26 bombers. About 226 bombers in all.

General Dwight David ‘Ike’ Eisenhower (later 34 President of the USA 1953-1961) said at the time "If we have to choose between destroying a famous building and sacrificing our own men […] the buildings must go.".

Hope this puts the record straight in charity.

Fr. Selvester said...

Actually, it was the Americans (who did all the daytime bombing during WWII while the British preferred nighttime bombing) who did almost all the damage to Monte Cassino. As a result, when the archabbey was rebuilt American Benedictine houses contributed large sums to that cause.

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