Monastery of San Benedetto in Norcia – mp3s and photos

I received this from the Monastery of St. Benedict in Norcia, Italy… the birthplace of St. Benedict.

Salve! [F]rom the Benedictine Monastery of San Benedetto in Norcia.

Thanks to some generous donations from our patrons, we’ve wired up our Tenebrae services and made podcasts and mp3s of everything. There also some amazing photos from a very solemn, very Latin and very awe inspiring Tenebrae service.

We’re a young monastery, with more than a dozen vocations from all over the world (and all young guys!) but with a huge amount of talent and focus on leading the Church by following Her teaching and wisdom. Also, the monks celebrate all roman rites with great reverence.

Seeing as we start at 5:00AM, it takes a couple of minutes for the monks to "warm up". There are some sick monks in the pews– please disregard the coughing. However, you will find the later parts and especially today’s service especially beautiful.

You can see pictures and all the music at, and click "Tenebrae ’09"

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. I used to be an oblate to the monastery in Norcia. They do a lot of good work for the Church when it comes to the liturgy. Very, very faithful to the Church and the monastic life–which is very strict. So long as he lives and breathes, Fr. Cassian would have it no other way.

    Pray for Fr. Cassian. He has had bone cancer, but I understand he is recovering nicely.


  2. Homer says:

    Thanks be to God, Fr. Cassian and the rest of the monks are healthy, in the big picture. However, a cold winter and a lot of work have been ingredients for flus and colds. You’ll hear it in the Thursday and Friday Tenebrae recordings. And if you’ve lived in communal housing, you know that when one person comes home sick, everyone gets sick…

  3. Homer, I note your page is Who are you at the monastery?

  4. It’s funny, but looking at this post about Norcia has inspired me to go back and look at my pictures from the summer program of 2005. In particular, I saw the photo on the “visiting us” page and I just knew I had seen that photo of Br. Bolin before! It was taken in early June on a “gita” to Monte Patino. Specifically, he is looking out over the valley at the foothills of Castellucio. I still have the original photo. It was taken by either Adam or Daniel (will not mention last names).

    Alas, memories of a most wonderful and grace-filled summer.

    I recommend people to go on their summer discernment program if you are able to do so.

  5. elliot says:

    What’s with the beards? I haven’t often seen Benedictins wearing them. Just askin’…

  6. I never did ask what the reason was for the beards, but I do know that Fr. Cassian is much loved by the community. He has had a long beard for as long as I’ve known him (12 years). I would not be surprised if it has something to do with his witness to the monastic life and tradition.

  7. Because beards are traditionally monastic. It was a Western development that tended to shy away from beards, to the point that clerics had to have permission from the ordinary to have a beard. I’m not sure what the reason behind that was though. However, that was usually more for diocesan priests. Religious often wore beards in the East and West.

    Read what Saint Clement of Alexandria says about beards (or rather about how ungodly it is to shave one’s beard). LOL.

    The monastery of Norcia has a very authentic living out of the Rule of Saint Benedict, accompanied by a good and youthful zeal.

  8. Homer says:

    “CHAPTER LXVI : Of the Porter of the Monastery

    Let a wise old man be placed at the door of the monastery, one who knoweth how to take and give an answer, and whose mature age doth not permit him to stray about.

    The porter should have a cell near the door, that they who come may always find one present from whom they may obtain an answer. As soon as anyone knocketh or a poor person calleth, let him answer, “Thanks be to God,” or invoke a blessing, and with the meekness of the fear of God let him return an answer speedily in the fervor of charity. If the porter hath need of assistance, let him have a younger brother.

    I’m neither wise nor old, but they took me in anyway! I’m here until this summer, and then start school in Rome this fall.

  9. Homer, in your charity, please tell Frs. Cassian, Benedict, Clement and Brs. Anthony, John and Br. Bares (I forget his religious name….) that Kevin Symonds says hello. I am living in Cullman, Alabama now, working for the St. Bernard monastery as a religion teacher in their Preparatory school.

    What I would give to see the look on their faces at my greeting…. :)


  10. Athanasius says:

    Fr. Cassian knows more about liturgy than probably anyone alive. We desperately need one of the traditional orders to send some priests for a directed readings course with him before he passes to his heavenly reward, which thankfully with his recovery is not on the horizon, but will be some day.

  11. Homer, thank you so much! Please do let me know their replies.

    Athanasius, I remember once that when I was in Norcia, Fr. Cassian got called to Rome to give advice to a Cardinal on a liturgical matter. I also remember hearing that prior to its publication, Redemptionis Sacramentum was reviewed by Fr. Cassian. I was told that his exact words after reading it were, “This is good, but it needs more teeth.”

    Father would never admit to saying that, even when I tried asking him.


  12. Gloria says:

    Members of the Confraternity of St. Peter from St. Stephen’s in Sacramento were blessed to go on pilgrimage in October, ’08, on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the FSSP. The culmination was Solemn High Mass with Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos at the now personal parish of FSSP in Rome, SS Trinitas dei Pellegrini. We began by bus trip from the airport in Rome to Norcia for two nights. I went to confession in one of the open-ended, very old confessionals (the bare wood is hard on 77 year old knees)! We assisted at Mass there two days. The second was a High Mass with the monks as schola. What a treat! I was able to join in singing with a mixed choir made up of some of our pilgrims for a polyphonic Offertory hymn, led by Father Bransich, FSSP. We also were privileged to receive the first blessing of a newly ordained young monk – with beard. Father Cassian was very gracious, gave us the history, etc., and we were able to go below to the place where St. Benedict and St. Scholastica were born.

  13. Alessandro says:

    Homer, if you are who I think you are, I am Alessandro who spent two weeks at the Monastery this summer…

  14. Homer says:

    How could I forget!? We here suspect you check our website regularly, and that you’re the rascal that started publicising the Tenebrae in the blogosphere before we had posted it…I had several very pious individuals email me complaining “I’m clicking, but all I hear is an eight-second test clip!”

    A thousand thank-you’s, and a “How’s-it-going?” Shoot me an email sometime and tell me what you’re up to.

  15. Liam says:

    Perhaps it should be noted that, this year for perhaps the first time in memory, Holy Church did have Mass yesterday – the Pope provided a dispensation for the state funeral for the victims of the earthquake in L’Aquila to occur on the morning of Good Friday.

  16. Supertradmom says:

    Many Benedictine monks wear beards. Homer, say hello to Louis for me. I knew him at TAC and I hope he stays in Norcia. He is on the homepage. I also know Brother John, another great young man. Thanks be to God for all these young men answering God’s call.

  17. Alessandro says:


    how funny is it to be able to say, we ran into eachother in the comment section of a blog.

  18. rachel says:

    I received an e-mail from this monastery informing me that their Tenebrae podcast was up. Beautiful! My husband and I just finished our Tenebrae service last night. We have decided to start this tradition for our family. My husband knows the chant very well. Me..well…I’m It was very beautiful and moving experience.

    God bless the monks of San Benedetto and all the traditional orders that are growing in the Church. Have a Blessed Easter!

  19. shadrach says:

    Wonderful chant, and a wonderful service the monks are providing. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Homer, is there any way of downloading the whole triduum onto itunes? I only seem to be able to get a portion of Holy Thursday and Holy Saturday, and – it’s all so good – I’d love to be able to download the whole thing. Thank you once again to the Benedictine Monks of Norcia. God bless you all and Happy Easter!

  20. Monique Reed says:

    Thank you so much for this! I have spent some lovely time learning about the thriving (praise be to God!) community there and listening to the beautiful music. How wonderful to experience, and how apt, as my Lenten reading this year included the Rule of St. Benedict. Blessings on the monks of Norcia!

  21. John says:

    I was priviliged to spend two days in Norcia with the St Peter pilgrims. It was a memorable experience. Someday I hope to return.

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