May 24, 2009.
For the first time as pope, Benedict XVI prayed at the place where Saint Benedict is buried in Montecassino in central Italy.
As a Cardinal, Joseph Ratzinger was very fond of this particular saint,
which is why he chose the name Benedict when he was elected pope.
Speaking before the saint’s tomb, Benedict told his listeners that the search for God should be central to their lives.
Benedict XVI“A person is not fully human and cannot be truly happy (when trying to live) without God. It’s up to you, dear monks, to be living examples of this interior and profound relationship with Him.”
The pope highlighted how Saint Benedict contributed to western culture
thanks to the monasteries he established. Benedict said these were the
hubs of education in the search for the common good and the path to God.
“He was a master of civilization. He called for a balanced and
appropriate vision of divine requirements and of the ultimate purpose
of man. He also took into account the needs and the motivations of the
heart in order to teach and to bring about a genuine and lasting
Before leaving, the pope encouraged the Benedictine monks to continue
the work of evangelization and human promotion started by Saint
Benedict in that same abbey in the year 529.
Montecassino is also a landmark of World War II. It was bombed and destroyed by the allies and rebuilt after the war.
It marked the fourth time in history that the abbey had been destroyed and later rebuilt.
The pope also visited a nearby Polish cemetery where 1,052 soldiers are buried.
Benedict XVISend the Holy Spirit so that the people of our age may understand that
the gift of peace is much more (precious) than any material good. ,
He also remembered those suffering from wars today. He prayed that all
may be enlightened with the virtues of peace and learn to trust in a
civilization of love.