Singing monks in Italian city of Norcia top the charts

Aug 24, 2015 761

by Judith Valente

The ancient city of Norcia in central Italy is known for its wild boar sausages and black truffles, but now it's known for something else: Its singing monks. "We sing the praises of God nine times a day. So if you add all that up, it's probably five hours every day, rain or shine, 365 days a year," said Cassian Folsom, the American-born priest who leads St. Benedict's Monastery in Norcia.

People no longer need to travel to this birthplace of St. Benedict to hear the monks, because their chants and hymns are on a CD that's topped the Billboard charts this summer in classical, traditional music. "There's a great hunger and thirst that people have, even non-believers, for something or other which they generally call spirituality," said Folsom, 63. "If the CD can respond to that need, then we'd be very pleased."

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