1. Sacred Destinations
  2. Italy Photos
  3. Subiaco Photos
  4. Subiaco Monastery (Sacro Speco)
  5. Subiaco Monastery (Sacro Speco) Photos
  6. Subiaco Monastery (Sacro Speco)

Photo of Subiaco Monastery (Sacro Speco)

Sacred Cave

A chapel on the left side of the Lower Church contains the holiest place in the monastery, the Sacred Cave (Sacro Speco) of St. Benedict. Here Benedict lived alone as a hermit for three years around 500 AD. Twelve red lamps hang over the cave, representing Benedict's twelve monastic foundations at Subiaco. The chapel contains an altar with a 13th-century Cosmatesque frontal; in the cave itself is a soulful marble statue of the saint by Antonio Raggi (1657), disciple of Bernini. Benedict is shown as a young man, his arms folded across his chest while he meditates on the cross.

Photo © Holly Hayes.