The celebrations honouring Saint Benedict, patron saint of Norcia and Europe begin on Saturday 27th February, with the lighting of the "Pro Pace et Europa Una" torch in the crypt of the Basilica dedicated to the Saint.
This year, the chosen destination for the torch is the Kingdom of the Netherlands, on the occasion of the Netherlands six-month presidency of the Council of Europe.
On the 2nd March, the torch will be blessed by the Pope at the Vatican, and is due to arrive in Holland for the 10th March, where two important events will be held.
On the 11th March, in the "Church of Our Saviour" in The Hague, the "Città di Norcia" wind ensemble, together with the Choirs of Subiaco and Norcia, will be performing the "Cantica de Sancto Benedicto", in concert. Instead, on the 10th March in Amsterdam, tour operators, entrepreneurs and mass media outlets will be presenting and promoting the area with the event "Terre di San Benedetto" ("Lands of Saint Benedict"), in collaboration with the Italian Chamber of Commerce for the Netherlands.
The torch will then return to Italy, visiting the three Benedictine towns: Cassino and Subiaco on the 2nd and 3rd April respectively and Norcia on the 4th and 5th, after having travelled along the "Route of Saint Benedict", a route from Montecassino to Norcia, which is 310 km long and divided into 16 stages, a combination of paths and secondary roads, in the locations where Saint Benedict lived and worked.
As they coincide with this year's Holy Week, the celebrations on the 20th and 21st March have been postponed until after Easter, to the first available days thereafter, as set out by the Liturgical Calendar.
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