“Chi Montecassino non vede, paradiso non crede.”
“Who does not see Montecassino, does not believe in Heaven”
This is the view from the entrance of the Montecassino Abbey. We took the bus up a very steep hill. We ventured above the clouds and truly reached a little bit of Heaven on Earth!
The Montecassino Abbey is home to many Benedictine Monks. This is the statue of Pope Benedict before his death. He seen in his final hours stretching his hands up toward God.
Something I didn’t know, but really was intrigued to learn about, was the Abbey’s heavy involvement in WW2. American intelligence thought that German soldiers had occupied the Abbey during the war, so we took matters into our own hands and bombed the place relentless. The tragedy, however, is that many refugees were hiding here-not German soldiers. The German soldiers were hiding in the outskirts of the Abbey instead. A lot of people died here, but the fascinating aspect of this story is that no Benedictine monks were killed and they rescued many refugees after the bombing through a series of underground tunnels (where St Benedict is buried today).
After the escape, many different armed forces came and risked their lives to take back the Abbey from the Germans (who occupied it after the American bombing) in May 1944. Just a couple of miles away, you can see the Police cemetery for those who fought in WW2. The cemetery is beautiful. You can see the huge white cross from the walls of the Abbey.
I hope you find as much beauty in these photos and this story as I did!