On May 24, 2009, the 16th Pope to have taken the name of St. Benedict made a dearly awaited and important Apostolic Pilgrimage to the sacred abbey of Montecassino, a holy place that Pope Benedict XVI has called "the cradle of spirituality and of European culture" and also "the birthplace of the roots of European Christianity". This date held with it its own significance: the 65th anniversary of the bombardment of Montecassino (or rather the end of the Battle which destroyed the serene hilltop monastery), the 45th anniversary of the proclamation of St. Benedict as the primary patron saint of Europe, and further it was on this exact day in the year 1086 that the celebrated abbot of Montecassino Desiderius was elected Pope Victor III.
The visit was composed of celebrating mass in Cassino, inaugurating the House of Charity, walking the abbey's grounds, visiting the holy sepulcher of St. Benedict and St. Scholastica, paying respects at the Polish cemetery, as well as praying the Vespers and visiting with the abbots, abbesses, nuns, and the monks of Montecassino.

This was a visit overflowing with meaning. For the people of Cassino, it was an unusual and joyful event to have the Pope celebrate mass with them. Further, the inauguration of their newly realized House of Charity was an incredible honor.