Italian delegation in Malta for the lighting of the Benedictine Torch

A delegation of 116 Italians from Monte Cassino is expected to arrive in Malta today to participate in the Benedictine Torch.

The Benedictine Order has chosen Malta to hold its annual event of peace, hope and fraternity, known as the Benedictine Torch.
The Benedictine Order has chosen Malta to hold its annual event of peace, hope and fraternity, known as the Benedictine Torch.

A delegation of 116 Italians from Monte Cassino, including Benedictine monks, 26 choir members, a reenactment group and representatives of civil society, will arrived in Malta today to take part in the Benedictine Torch.

The Benedictine Torch is an annual event of peace, hope and fraternity. The Torch will be lit during a celebration of Mass that will be held tomorrow at St. John's Co-Cathedral.

The Benedictine Order has chosen Malta for this year's event. Every year, since 1964, the Torch is the main feature of a pilgrimage beginning from the city chosen to light the torch and ending in Monte Cassino at the Shrine of St Benedict.

Mgr Pietro Vittorelli, Archabbot of Monte Cassino Abbey, and Mgr Renato Boccardo, Archbishop of Spoleto, Norcia, will concelebrate. Mass will be animated by the Benedictine Choir of Monte Cassino.

Archbishop Paul Cremona will light the Benedictine Torch just after the Communion rite. After the celebration of Mass, a re-enactment will be held outside St. John's Co-Cathedral. The Benedictine Torch will then be taken to Castille where it will be welcomed by Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi.

European Commission Vice-president Antonio Tajani will also be attending this celebration.

On 14 March, the Torch will be taken to the Vatican to be blessed by Pope Benedict XVI, and will then be taken to the Shrine of St Benedict in Monte Cassino on 20 March.

In 1964, when Saint Benedict was proclaimed Patron Saint of Europe, it was decided that the lighting of a torch would take place annually in various countries, to represent European unity. The torch is now known as the Torch of Saint Benedict. Since 1992, the year of the Maastricht Treaty, it has also become a symbol of peace.

Saint Benedict was chosen as the symbol and the Saint to testify to the common Christian cultural roots which the 27 European Countries share. The lighting of the torch represents the light of Saint Benedict that spans over Europe bringing peace, fraternity and friendship.

 

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