1964 was the year of the proclamation of St. Benedict as the patron saint of Europe. Escorted by a team of young athletes (inspired by the Olympics), the Benedictine Torch is lit every year as the ideal sign of the light of St. Benedict in a different and significant place, instilling sentiments of brotherhood, friendship, and peace. These are virtues of which the saint of Norcia was the tireless apostle among the peoples, under the Christian sign of the cross and plough, represented by the emblematic motto ‘Ora et Labora’ (Work and Time).
This year, the destination of the Torch chosen by the promoters of the event is Bucharest, for two principal reasons: the recent accession of Romania to the EU and the priority for Norcia to assist integration and foster friendship between the Orthodox and Catholic churches by putting the experience gained last years in Moscow and subsequently in Tbilisi to good use.
After being received by the patriarch of the Orthodox Church, Teoctist Arapaşu, in Bucharest, the Benedictine Torch will make a stop at the European Parliament in Brussels. This stage will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome.
Before it returns to Norcia, the Torch and its delegation will be accepted and blessed by the Holy Father at Vatican City and welcomed by Benedictine localities where the Saint of Norcia spent part of his life.