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Priests to celebrate Masses outdoors after massive earthquake in Italy

Priests in central Italy were instructed to celebrate Mass outdoors following another devastating earthquake that rocked the region and brought one its most spiritually and historically significant churches tumbling down.

Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti of Perugia-Citta della Pieve advised priests to not celebrate Mass indoors over the next several days, including today, 1st November, the Solemnity of All Saints, which is also a national holiday in Italy.

The 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck Norcia in the early morning of 30th October and reduced the Basilica of St Benedict to rubble.

At the noonday Angelus on 30th October, Pope Francis prayed for the “the wounded and the families that have suffered major damage as well as for the personnel involved in rescue efforts and in aiding the victims.

“May the Risen Lord give them strength and Our Lady watch over them,” the pope said.

The Benedictine monks of Norcia assisted in relief efforts as well as helping to guide anxious residents to the town’s main square and lead them in prayer.

Picture: The Basilica of St Benedict in the ancient city of Norcia is seen on 31st October following an earthquake in central Italy. (CNS pohoto/Remo Casilli, Reuters).