Monte Cassino (sometimes written Montecassino) is a rocky hill about 130 kilometres (81 mi) southeast of Rome, in the Latin Valley, Italy, 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) to the west of the town of Cassino and 520 m (1,706.04 ft) altitude. Site of the Roman town of Casinum, it is best known for its abbey, the first house of the Benedictine Order, having been established by Benedict of Nursia himself around 529. It was for the community of Monte Cassino that the Rule of Saint Benedict was composed.
Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country's most populated comune. It is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.
Cassino['kas'sino] is a comune in the province of Frosinone, central Italy, at the southern end of the region of Lazio, the last City of the Latin Valley.
Casinum was an ancient town of Italy, probably of Volscian origin. Varro states that the name was Sabine, and meant forum vetus, and also that the town itself was Samnite, but he is probably wrong. When it came under Roman supremacy is not known, but it probably received the citizenship in 188 BC. It was the most southeasterly town in Latium adiectum, situated on the Via Latina about 40 miles north-west of Capua. It appears occasionally in the history of the Hannibalic War. Varro possessed a villa near it, in which later on Mark Antony held his orgies.
The first monastery on Monte Cassino was sacked by the invading Lombards around 570 and abandoned. Of the first monastery almost nothing is known. The second monastery was established by Petronax of Brescia around 718, at the suggestion of Pope Gregory II and with the support of the Lombard Duke Romuald II of Benevento. It was directly subject to the pope and many monasteries in Italy were under its authority. In 883 the monastery was sacked by Saracens and abandoned again. The community of monks resided first at Teano and then from 914 at Capua before the monastery was rebuilt in 949. During the period of exile, the Cluniac Reforms were introduced into the community.
The Lombards or Longobards were a Germanic people who ruled most of the Italian Peninsula from 568 to 774.
Pope Gregory II was Bishop of Rome from 19 May 715 to his death in 731. His defiance of the Byzantine emperor Leo III the Isaurian as a result of the iconoclastic controversy in the Eastern Empire prepared the way for a long series of revolts, schisms and civil wars that eventually led to the establishment of the temporal power of the popes.
Romuald II the Younger was the son of Gisulf I and Winiperga. He succeeded as duke of Benevento on the death of his father, which is dated variously as 698, 706, or 707. According to Paul the Deacon, Gisulf reigned 17 years, which would imply his death in 698, but Paul also mentions acts which seem certainly to have occurred around 705. He gives Romuald a reign of 26 years, which puts his death in either 724, 731, or 732.
The 11th and 12th centuries were the abbey's golden age. It acquired a large secular territory around Monte Cassino, the so-called Terra Sancti Benedicti ("Land of Saint Benedict"), which it heavily fortified with castles. It maintained good relations with the Eastern Church, even receiving patronage from Byzantine emperors. It encouraged fine art and craftsmanship by employing Byzantine and even Saracen artisans. In 1057, Pope Victor II recognised the abbot of Monte Cassino as having precedence over all other abbots. Many monks rose to become bishops and cardinals, and three popes were drawn from the abbey: Stephen IX (1057–58), Victor III (1086–87) and Gelasius II (1118–19). During this period the monastery's chronicle was written by two of its own, Cardinal Leo of Ostia and Peter the Deacon (who also compiled the cartulary).
The Terra Sancti Benedicti was the secular territory, or seignory, of the powerful Abbey of Montecassino, the chief monastery of the Mezzogiorno and one of the first Western monasteries: founded by Benedict of Nursia himself, hence the name of its possessions.
A castle is a type of fortified structure built during the Middle Ages by predominantly the nobility or royalty and by military orders. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble. This is distinct from a palace, which is not fortified; from a fortress, which was not always a residence for royalty or nobility; and from a fortified settlement, which was a public defence – though there are many similarities among these types of construction. Usage of the term has varied over time and has been applied to structures as diverse as hill forts and country houses. Over the approximately 900 years that castles were built, they took on a great many forms with many different features, although some, such as curtain walls, arrowslits, and portcullises, were commonplace.
Pope Victor II, born Gebhard, Count of Calw, Tollenstein, and Hirschberg, was Pope from 13 April 1055 until his death in 1057. He was also known as Gebhard Of Dollnstein-hirschberg. Gebhard was one of a series of German reform popes.
By the 13th century, the monastery's decline had set in. In 1239, the Emperor Frederick II garrisoned troops in it during his war with the Papacy. In 1322, Pope John XXII elevated the abbey into a bishopric but this was suppressed in 1367. The buildings were destroyed by an earthquake in 1349, and in 1369 Pope Urban V demanded a contribution from all Benedictine monasteries to fund the rebuilding. In 1454 the abbey was placed in commendam and in 1504 was made subject to the Abbey of Santa Giustina in Padua.
Frederick II was King of Sicily from 1198, King of Germany from 1212, King of Italy and Holy Roman Emperor from 1220 and King of Jerusalem from 1225. He was the son of emperor Henry VI of the Hohenstaufen dynasty and of Constance, heiress to the Norman kings of Sicily.
Pope Urban V, born Guillaume de Grimoard, was Pope from 28 September 1362 until his death in 1370 and was also a member of the Order of Saint Benedict. He was the sixth Avignon Pope, and the only Avignon pope to be beatified.
In canon law, commendam was a form of transferring an ecclesiastical benefice in trust to the custody of a patron. The phrase in commendam was originally applied to the provisional occupation of an ecclesiastical benefice, which was temporarily without an actual occupant, in contrast to the conferral of a title, in titulum, which was applied to the regular and unconditional occupation of a benefice.
In 1799, Monte Cassino was sacked again by French troops during the French Revolutionary Wars. The abbey was dissolved by the Italian government in 1866. The building became a national monument with the monks as custodians of its treasures. In 1944 during World War II it was the site of the Battle of Monte Cassino and the building was destroyed by Allied bombing. It was rebuilt after the war.
The French Revolutionary Wars were a series of sweeping military conflicts lasting from 1792 until 1802 and resulting from the French Revolution. They pitted France against Great Britain, Austria, Prussia, Russia and several other monarchies. They are divided in two periods: the War of the First Coalition (1792–97) and the War of the Second Coalition (1798–1802). Initially confined to Europe, the fighting gradually assumed a global dimension. After a decade of constant warfare and aggressive diplomacy, France had conquered a wide array of territories, from the Italian Peninsula and the Low Countries in Europe to the Louisiana Territory in North America. French success in these conflicts ensured the spread of revolutionary principles over much of Europe.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
The Battle of Monte Cassino was a costly series of four assaults by the Allies against the Winter Line in Italy held by Axis forces during the Italian Campaign of World War II. The intention was a breakthrough to Rome.
After the reforms of the Second Vatican Council the monastery was one of the few remaining territorial abbeys within the Catholic Church. On 23 October 2014, Pope Francis applied the norms of the motu proprio Ecclesia Catholica of Paul VI (1976)to the abbey, removing from its jurisdiction all 53 parishes and reducing its spiritual jurisdiction to the abbey itself—while retaining its status as a territorial abbey. The former territory of the Abbey, except the land on which the abbey church and monastery sit, was transferred to the diocese of Sora-Cassino-Aquino-Pontecorvo.
The Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, commonly known as the Second Vatican Council or Vatican II, addressed relations between the Catholic Church and the modern world. The council, through the Holy See, was formally opened under the pontificate of Pope John XXIII on 11 October 1962 and was closed under Pope Paul VI on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on 8 December 1965.
A territorial abbey is a particular church of the Catholic Church comprising defined territory which is not part of a diocese but surrounds an abbey or monastery whose abbot or superior functions as ordinary for all Catholics and parishes in the territory. Such an abbot is called a territorial abbot or abbot nullius diœceseos. A territorial abbot thus differs from an ordinary abbot, who exercises authority only within the monastery's walls or to monks or canons who have taken their vows there. A territorial abbot is equivalent to a diocesan bishop in Catholic canon law.
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.
The history of Monte Cassino is linked to the nearby town of Cassino which was first settled in the fifth century B.C. by the Volsci people who held much of central and southern Italy. It was the Volsci who first built a citadel on the summit of Monte Cassino. The Volsci in the area were defeated by the Romans in 312 B.C. The Romans renamed the settlement Casinum and built a temple to Apollo at the citadel. Modern excavations have found no remains of the temple, but ruins of an amphitheatre, a theatre, and a mausoleum indicate the lasting presence the Romans had there.
Generations after the Roman Empire adopted Christianity the town became the seat of a bishopric in the fifth century A.D. Lacking strong defences the area was subject to barbarian attack and became abandoned and neglected with only a few struggling inhabitants holding out.
According to Gregory the Great's biography of Benedict, Life of Saint Benedict of Nursia, the monastery was constructed on an older pagan site, a temple of Apollo that crowned the hill. The biography records that the area was still largely pagan at the time; Benedict's first act was to smash the sculpture of Apollo and destroy the altar. He then reused the temple, dedicating it to Saint Martin, and built another chapel on the site of the altar dedicated to Saint John the Baptist.
Pope Gregory I's account of Benedict's seizure of Monte Cassino:
"Now the citadel called Casinum is located on the side of a high mountain. The mountain shelters this citadel on a broad bench. Then it rises three miles above it as if its peak tended toward heaven. There was an ancient temple there in which Apollo used to be worshipped according to the old pagan rite by the foolish local farmers. Around it had grown up a grove dedicated to demon worship, where even at that time a wild crowd still devoted themselves to unholy sacrifices. When [Benedict] the man of God arrived, he smashed the idol, overturned the altar and cut down the grove of trees. He built a chapel dedicated to St. Martin in the temple of Apollo and another to St. John where the altar of Apollo had stood. And he summoned the people of the district to the faith by his unceasing preaching."
Pope Gregory I's biography of Benedict claims that Satan opposed the monks repurposing the site. In one story, Satan invisibly sits on a rock making it too heavy to remove until Benedict drives him off. In another story, Satan taunts Benedict and then collapses a wall on a young monk, who is brought back to life by Benedict. Pope Gregory also relays that the monks found a pagan idol of bronze when digging at the site (which when thrown into the kitchen gave the illusion of a fire until dispelled by Benedict).
Archaeologist Neil Christie notes that it was common in such hagiographies for the protagonist to encounter areas of strong paganism.Benedict scholar Terrence Kardong examines why Benedict did not face stiffer opposition in his seizure of the site from the local pagans. He contrasts this with the 25-year struggle faced by St. Martin of Tours in western Gaul by pagans angry at his attacks on their shrines: "By the time of Benedict, paganism was in a weaker condition in western Europe than it had been in Martin's time. And, of course, it must be remembered that Martin as a bishop was a much more prominent churchman than Benedict. This was an isolated and unusual episode in Benedict's monastic career. Martin, however, was thrust out of his monastery into the role of a missionary bishop in the fourth century."
Benedict scholars (such as Adalbert de Vogüé and Terrence Kardong) note the heavy influence of Sulpicius Severus' Life of Martin on Pope Gregory I's biography of Benedict, including the account of his seizure of Monte Cassino. Benedict's violence against a pagan holy place recalls both Martin's assault against pagan shrines generations before and the Biblical story of conquering Israel entering the Holy Land (see Exodus 34:12-14). De Vogue writes "this mountain had to be conquered from an idolatrous people and purified from its devilish horrors. And like conquering Israel, Benedict came precisely to carry out this purification. No doubt Gregory had this biblical model uppermost in his mind, as is clear from the terms he uses to describe the work of destruction. At the same time, neither Gregory nor Benedict could have forgotten the similar line of action taken by St. Martin against the pagan shrines of Gaul."
Pope Gregory I's account of Benedict at Monte Cassino is seen by scholars as the final setting for an epic set in motion at Subiaco. In his earlier setting Benedict "had twice shown complete mastery over his aggressiveness, Benedict is now allowed to use it without restraint in the service of God."Scholars note that this striking contrast is not stressed by Gregory but rather both settings are portrayed as part of a single battle account against the same demonic enemy. Where Satan concealed himself behind underlings at Subiaco, at Monte Cassino he drops the masks to enter into a desperate attempt to prevent an abbey from being built, and "that the sole cause of this eruption of satanic action is the suppression of pagan worship on the high places."
While scholars see some similarities between the story of Benedict's encountering demonic phenomena and diabolic apparitions at Monte Cassino with the story of Saint Anthony the Great's temptation in the desert, the influence of the story of St. Martin is dominant — with the resistance of Satan substituting for Martin's outraged pagan populace. Unlike the stories that may have influenced Pope Gregory's structure of the biography, Benedict's victories are practical, preventing Satan from stopping work on the abbey at Monte Cassino. Benedict's prayers are portrayed as the driving force behind the building of the abbey and the triumphs over Satan, through prayer "Benedict the monk wrests from the devil a well-determined base which he never leaves."After the completion of the abbey, Satan's appearances in the story diminish back to the same level as Subiaco, "Only after the saint's death and by God's permission would other enemies, the Lombards, succeed in sacking it."
Once established at Monte Cassino, Benedict never left. He wrote the Benedictine Rule that became the founding principle for Western monasticism, received a visit from Totila, king of the Ostrogoths (perhaps in 543, the only remotely secure historical date for Benedict), and died there. According to accounts, "Benedict died in the oratory of St. Martin, and was buried in the oratory of St. John."
The Rule of St. Benedict mandated the moral obligations to care for the sick. So in Monte Cassino St. Benedict founded a hospital that is considered today to have been the first in Europe of the new era. Benedictine monks took care of the sick and wounded there according to Benedict's Rule. The monastic routine called for hard work. The care of the sick was such an important duty that those caring for them were enjoined to act as if they served Christ directly. Benedict founded twelve communities for monks at nearby Subiaco (about 64 km to the east of Rome), where hospitals were settled, too, as adjuncts to the monasteries to provide charity. Soon many monasteries were founded throughout Europe, and everywhere there were hospitals like those in Monte Cassino.
Pope Gregory I's account of Benedict's construction was confirmed by archaeological discoveries made after the destruction of 1944. Adalbert de Vogüé recounts that "Traces have been found of the oratories of St. Martin and of St. John the Baptist, with additions from the eighth and eleventh centuries, together with their pre-Christian cellars. The first one which Benedict built in the temple itself was only twelve meters long and eight wide. From this, we can infer a fairly small community. The second oratory, on the mountain-top, where the pagan altar had stood in the open air, was of the same width but somewhat longer (15.25 meters)."
Monte Cassino became a model for future developments. Its prominent site has always made it an object of strategic importance. It was sacked or destroyed a number of times. "The first to demolish it were Lombards on foot in 580; the last were Allied bombers in 1944."In 581, during the abbacy of Bonitus, the Lombards sacked the abbey, and the surviving monks fled to Rome, where they remained for more than a century. During this time the body of St Benedict was transferred to Fleury, the modern Saint-Benoit-sur-Loire near Orleans, France.
A flourishing period of Monte Cassino followed its re-establishment in 718 by Abbot Petronax, when among the monks were Carloman, son of Charles Martel; Ratchis, predecessor of the great Lombard Duke and King Aistulf; and Paul the Deacon, the historian of the Lombards.
In 744, a donation of Gisulf II of Benevento created the Terra Sancti Benedicti , the secular lands of the abbacy, which were subject to the abbot and nobody else save the Pope. Thus, the monastery became the capital of a state comprising a compact and strategic region between the Lombard principality of Benevento and the Byzantine city-states of the coast (Naples, Gaeta, and Amalfi).
In 884 Saracens sacked and then burned it down,and Abbot Bertharius was killed during the attack. Among the great historians who worked at the monastery, in this period there is Erchempert, whose Historia Langobardorum Beneventanorum is a fundamental chronicle of the ninth-century Mezzogiorno.
Monte Cassino was rebuilt and reached the apex of its fame in the 11th century under the abbot Desiderius (abbot 1058–1087), who later became Pope Victor III. Monks caring for the patients in Monte Cassino constantly needed new medical knowledge. So they began to buy and collect medical and other books by Greek, Roman, Islamic, Egyptian, European, Jewish, and Oriental authors. As Naples is situated on the crossroad of many seaways of Europe, Middle East and Asia, soon the monastery library was one of the richest in Europe. All the knowledge of the civilizations of all the times and nations was accumulated in the Abbey of that time. The Benedictines translated into Latin and transcribed precious manuscripts. The number of monks rose to over two hundred, and the library, the manuscripts produced in the scriptorium and the school of manuscript illuminators became famous throughout the West. The unique Beneventan script flourished there during Desiderius' abbacy. Monks reading and copying the medical texts learnt a lot about human anatomy and methods of treatment, and then put their theoretic skills into practice at monastery hospital. By the 10-11th centuries Monte Cassino became the most famous cultural, educational, and medical center of Europe with great library in Medicine and other sciences. Many physicians came there for medical and other knowledge. That is why the first High Medical School in the world was soon opened in nearby Salerno which is considered today to have been the earliest Institution of Higher Education in Western Europe. This school found its original base in the Benedictine Abbey of Monte Cassino still in the 9th century and later settled down in Salerno. So, Montecassino and Benedictines played a great role in the progress of medicine and science in the Middle Ages, and with his life and work St. Benedict himself exercised a fundamental influence on the development of European civilization and culture and helped Europe to emerge from the "dark night of history" that followed the fall of the Roman empire.
The buildings of the monastery were reconstructed in the 11th century on a scale of great magnificence, artists being brought from Amalfi, Lombardy, and even Constantinople to supervise the various works. The abbey church, rebuilt and decorated with the utmost splendor, was consecrated in 1071 by Pope Alexander II. A detailed account of the abbey at this date exists in the Chronica monasterii Cassinensis by Leo of Ostia and Amatus of Monte Cassino gives us our best source on the early Normans in the south.
Abbot Desiderius sent envoys to Constantinople some time after 1066 to hire expert Byzantine mosaicists for the decoration of the rebuilt abbey church. According to chronicler Leo of Ostia the Greek artists decorated the apse, the arch and the vestibule of the basilica. Their work was admired by contemporaries but was totally destroyed in later centuries except two fragments depicting greyhounds (now in the Monte Cassino Museum). "The abbot in his wisdom decided that great number of young monks in the monastery should be thoroughly initiated in these arts" - says the chronicler about the role of the Greeks in the revival of mosaic art in medieval Italy.
Architectural historian Kenneth John Conant believed that Desiderius' rebuilding included pointed arches, and served as a major influence in the nascent development of Gothic architecture. Abbot Hugh of Cluny visited Monte Cassino in 1083, and five years later he began to build the third church at Cluny Abbey, which then included pointed arches and became a major turning point in medieval architecture.
An earthquake damaged the Abbey in 1349, and although the site was rebuilt it marked the beginning of a long period of decline. In 1321, Pope John XXII made the church of Monte Cassino a cathedral, and the carefully preserved independence of the monastery from episcopal interference was at an end. That situation was reversed by Pope Urban V, a Benedictine, in 1367.In 1505 the monastery was joined with that of St. Justina of Padua.
The site was sacked by Napoleon's troops in 1799. From the dissolution of the Italian monasteries in 1866, Monte Cassino became a national monument.
During the Battle of Monte Cassino in the Italian Campaign of World War II (January–May 1944) the Abbey was heavily damaged. The German military forces had established the 161-kilometre (100-mile) Gustav Line, in order to prevent Allied troops from advancing northwards. The abbey itself however, was not initially utilised by the German troops as part of their fortifications, owing to General Kesselring's regard for the historical monument. The Gustav Line stretched from the Tyrrhenian to the Adriatic coast in the east, with Monte Cassino itself overlooking Highway 6 and blocking the path to Rome. On 15 February 1944 the abbey was almost completely destroyed in a series of heavy American-led air raids. The Commander-in-Chief Allied Armies in Italy, General Sir Harold Alexander of the British army ordered the bombing. The bombing was conducted because many reports from the British commanders of the Indian troops on the ground suggested that Germans were occupying the monastery, and it was considered a key observational post by all those who were fighting in the field.However, during the bombing no Germans were present in the abbey. Subsequent investigations found that the only people killed in the monastery by the bombing were 230 Italian civilians seeking refuge there. Following the bombing the ruins of the monastery were occupied by German Fallschirmjäger (paratroopers) of the 1st Parachute Division, because the ruins provided excellent defensive cover.
The Abbey was rebuilt after the war.In the early 1950s, President of the Italian Republic Luigi Einaudi gave considerable support to the rebuilding. Pope Paul VI consecrated the rebuilt Basilica on 24 October 1964. During reconstruction, the abbey library was housed at the Pontifical Abbey of St Jerome-in-the-City. Until his resignation was accepted by Pope Francis on 12 June 2013, the Territorial Abbot of Monte Cassino was Pietro Vittorelli. The Vatican daily bulletin of 23 October 2014 announced that with the appointment of his successor Donato Ogliari, the territory of the abbey outside the immediate monastery grounds had been transferred to the Diocese of Sora-Aquino-Pontecorvo, now renamed Diocese of Sora-Cassino-Aquino-Pontecorvo.
In December 1943, some 1,400 irreplaceable manuscript codices, chiefly patristic and historical, in addition to a vast number of documents relating to the history of the abbey and the collections of the Keats-Shelley Memorial House in Rome, had been sent to the abbey archives for safekeeping. German officers Lt. Col. Julius Schlegel (a Roman Catholic) and Capt. Maximilian Becker (a Protestant), both from the Panzer-Division Hermann Göring, had them transferred to the Vatican at the beginning of the battle.
Another account, however, from Kurowski ("The History of the Fallschirmpanzerkorps Hermann Göring: Soldiers of the Reichsmarschall"), notes that 120 trucks were loaded with monastic assets and art which had been stored there for safekeeping. Robert Edsel (2006) is more to the point about German looting. The trucks were loaded and left in October 1943, and only "strenuous" protests resulted in their delivery to the Vatican, minus the 15 cases which contained the property of the Capodimonte Museum in Naples. Edsel goes on to note that these cases had been delivered to Göring in December 1943, for "his birthday."
Benedict of Nursia is a Christian saint venerated in the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, the Anglican Communion and Old Catholic Churches. He is a patron saint of Europe.
The Benedictines, officially the Order of Saint Benedict, are a monastic Catholic religious order of monks and nuns that follow the Rule of Saint Benedict. They are also sometimes called the Black Monks, in reference to the colour of the members' religious habits.
Pope Victor III, born Dauferio, was Pope from 24 May 1086 to his death in 1087. He was the successor of Pope Gregory VII, yet his pontificate is far less impressive in history than his time as Desiderius, the great Abbot of Montecassino.
Odo of Cluny was the second abbot of Cluny. He enacted various reforms in the Cluniac system of France and Italy. He is venerated as a saint by the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. His feast day is 18 November.
Subiaco is a town and comune in the Metropolitan City of Rome, in Lazio, central Italy, 40 kilometres (25 mi) from Tivoli alongside the river Aniene. It is a tourist and religious resort thanks to its sacred grotto, in the medieval St Benedict's Abbey, and for the Abbey of Santa Scolastica.
The Benedictine Confederation of the Order of Saint Benedict is the international governing body of the Order of Saint Benedict.
Saint Maurus, O.S.B., was the first disciple of Saint Benedict of Nursia (512–584). He is mentioned in Saint Gregory the Great's biography of the latter as the first oblate; offered to the monastery by his noble Roman parents as a young boy to be brought up in the monastic life.
Saint Nilus the Younger,, , was a monk, abbot, and founder of Italo-Greek monasticism in southern Italy. He is venerated as a saint in the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches, and his feast day is celebrated on September 26 in both the Byzantine Calendar and the Roman Martyrology.
Fleury Abbey (Floriacum) in Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire, Loiret, France, founded about 640, is one of the most celebrated Benedictine monasteries of Western Europe, which possesses the relics of St. Benedict of Nursia. Its site on the banks of the Loire has always made it easily accessible from Orléans, a center of culture unbroken since Roman times. Today the abbey has over forty monks and is headed by the abbot Etienne Ricaud.
Bobbio Abbey is a monastery founded by Irish Saint Columbanus in 614, around which later grew up the town of Bobbio, in the province of Piacenza, Emilia-Romagna, Italy. It is dedicated to Saint Columbanus. It was famous as a centre of resistance to Arianism and as one of the greatest libraries in the Middle Ages, and was the original on which the monastery in Umberto Eco's novel The Name of the Rose was based, together with Sacra di San Michele. The abbey was dissolved under the French administration in 1803, although many of the buildings remain in other uses.
Saint Placidus was a disciple of Saint Benedict. He was the son of the patrician Tertullus, was brought as a child to St. Benedict at Sublaqueum (Subiaco) and dedicated to God as provided for in chapter 69 of the Rule of St. Benedict (oblate).
Saint Berno of Cluny or Berno of Baume was the first abbot of Cluny from its foundation in 909 until he died in 927. He began the tradition of the Cluniac reforms which his successors spread across Europe.
Saint Petronax of Monte Cassino, called "The Second Founder of Monte Cassino", was an Italian monk and abbot who rebuilt and repopulated the monastery of Monte Cassino, which had been destroyed by the invading Lombards in the late sixth century.
San Vincenzo al Volturno is a historic Benedictine monastery located in the territories of the Comunes of Castel San Vincenzo and Rocchetta a Volturno, in the Province of Isernia, near the source of the river Volturno in Italy. The current monastery, housing a group 8 benedictin nuns, is located to the east of the river, while the archaeological monastery of the early Middle Ages was located on the west.
Michelangelo Celesia, O.S.B. Cas. was an Italian Benedictine monk who served as the Archbishop of Palermo from 1871 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1884.
The Abbey of St. Maurus, better known as Glanfeuil Abbey was a French Benedictine monastery in the village of Saint-Maur-sur-Loire, located in what is now the commune of Le Thoureil, Maine-et-Loire, which dated back to the 9th century. It was dissolved in 1908.
Bertharius was a Benedictine abbot of Monte Cassino who is venerated as a saint and martyr. He was also a poet and a writer. A member of the Lombard nobility, Bertharius as a young man made a pilgrimage to Monte Cassino at the time of the abbacy of Bassacius and decided as a result to become a monk.
The Abbey of Saint Scholastica, also known as Subiaco Abbey, is located just outside the town of Subiaco in the Province of Rome, Region of Lazio, Italy; and is still an active Benedictine order, territorial abbey, first founded in the 6th century AD by Saint Benedict of Nursia. It was in one of the Subiaco caves that Benedict made his first hermitage. The monastery today gives its name to the Subiaco Congregation, a grouping of monasteries worldwide that makes up part of the Order of Saint Benedict.
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