ENVOY NAMED FOR CELEBRATION OF 1,000-YEAR-OLD ABBEY

VATICAN CITY, AUG. 31, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Cardinal Renato Martino will be representing Benedict XVI this weekend at celebrations marking the 1,000 anniversary of the Italian Benedictine Abbey of the Holy Trinity of Cava.

The retired president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace was named the Pope’s envoy to the event in a July 2 Latin-language letter that was published Saturday by the Vatican.

The anniversary celebrations on Sept. 4 will include an 11 a.m. Mass over which Cardinal Martino will preside.

Founded in 1011, the Benedictine Abbey of the Holy Trinity of Cava was one of southern Italy’s most important and powerful religious and cultural centers during the Middle Ages. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the abbot ruled over 340 churches, more than 90 priories, and at least 29 abbeys. Through the centuries the abbey has accumulated and preserved many works of art and other precious objects. Much of the original Gothic architecture of the structure is still intact.

The abbey was founded by St. Alferio Pappacarbone, a nobleman of the city of Salerno. In Alferio’s time, the flow of disciples made it necessary to construct a monastery that in the following centuries would house numerous saints and blesseds.

Benedict XVI’s letter noted the hope that their example would “inspire among the faithful a more fervent religious sense and stronger faith.”

Since its foundation up to today, the abbey has uninterruptedly been inhabited by the Benedictines.

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