Monastery of Saint Benedict

Grotto of the Shepherds

una delle nostre immagini

Near Our Lady's chapel are the steps which lead down to the Grotto of the Shepherds.

In this cave St. Benedict used to instruct shepherds of the neighbourhood in the truths of the faith.

A stone commemorates the great Benedictine Apostles who spread this same faith all over Europe and the whole world. On a layer of plaster spread on the bare rock can be seen the remain of a Byzantine painting of the VIIth century. In the centre is Our Lady who holds the Baby upright on her lap, according to the Byzantine custom. Beside the Blessed Virgin are two saints.

On the right can be seen the letters S. LV…, further still to the right are the letters S. SIL… In the grotto of the shepherds there is a door which leads outside. In the middle of the landing a stone with the words "Ossa monachorum O. S. B. in pace sepulta sunt" marks the small cemetery which was used until 1870.

On the outside wall of Our Lady's chapel can still be seen some partly damaged frescoes by the same artists who painted St. Gregory's chapel: the Saviour between two Angels and St. Benedict.