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Norcia and St Benedict, patron saint of Europe
The town Norcia provides the tourist who comes inside its walls with many interesting possibilities. It is a town rich in tradition, history and culture, and it is immersed in a healthy and unpolluted environment.

One of its best ''productions'' is certainly its most famous citizen, a personality that has given lustre to the whole catholic world with his life and his teachings.

We are talking about St Benedict, who was born in 480 at Norcia and is considered the patriarch of the Western monachism.

From his native town he soon went to Rome for his studies, but became disgusted by the environment and the vices there and therefore withdrew to live a solitary life. So he abandoned all comforts, all domestic luxuries and a lifestyle that was not suitable for his ideal of religiosity.

So Benedict spent three years close to a monastery near Subiaco, where he lived in absolute seclusion in a cave. The monk Romano helped him, supplying him with the strictly indispensable.

This period was followed by one of intense activity throughout which Benedict founded some monasteries and wrote his famous rule, that became the base of the whole Western monachism. It was the profound conviction of St Benedict, that idleness and inactivity are the worst of the evils for man and his soul. In order to push away such dangers St Benedict compiled his rule hinging it on the cornerstones of prayer and work, the principles gathered in the maxim ''ora et labora''.

According to the tradition St Benedict died at Montecassino on the 21st March 547.

In 1964 pope Paul VI proclaimed St Benedict ''Father of Europe and Patron Saint of the Western countries'', consecrating him as the greatest star in the heaven of Christianity.

Santa Scolastica
She was the twin sister of St Benedict and born in 480 at Norcia, too. Her historical biography is scanty and overshadowed by her famous brother's charisma. The only information we have about her life and her personal story come from the ''Book of Dialogs'' by pope St Gregory the Great. Her spiritual power and her closeness to the beloved brother have made Santa Scolastica a very venerated figure. The many monasteries named after her and the profound fondness and devotion of the people are evidence of this fact. She died at Piumarola in 547.
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