Norcia was the birthplace of St. Benedict, the patron saint of Europe and the patriarch of Western monasticism.
His Rule, which encapsulates the Eastern Orthodox monastic tradition, shrewdly and discreetly adapting it to the Latin world, opened up a new way for European civilization after the decline of Roman civilization.
Following in St. Benedict’s footsteps, centers for prayer, human enhancement and hospitality for the poor and pilgrims were set up in mainland and island Europe. Two centuries after his death there were to be more than a thousand monasteries guided by his rule. Pope Paul VI proclaimed him patron saint of Europe on 24 October 1964.