ITALY: Succisa Virescit

In the fertile valley of the Rapido, below Monte Cassino, the seed buried in the spring had germinated and borne fruit. Columns of two-wheeled donkey carts, piled high with long sheaves of grain, wound slowly along the dusty roads to the marketplaces. High above, on a barren hill, the ruins of one of Christendom's most famous and ancient abbeys gleamed chalk white in the sun.

There, too, it was a kind of harvest time: the 35 Benedictine monks of Monte Cassino were rebuilding the Abbey stone by stone, with their hands. One of them, round little Dom Oderisco Graziosi, looked...

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