monte cassino monastery


Abbot Desiderius sent envoys to Constantinople some time after 1066 to hire expert Byzantine mosaicists for the decoration of the rebuilt abbey church. So they began to buy and collect medical and other books by Greek, Roman, Islamic, Egyptian, European, Jewish, and Oriental authors. 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. Maximilian Becker (a Protestant), both from the Panzer-Division Hermann Göring, had them transferred to the Vatican at the beginning of the battle. In another story, Satan taunts Benedict and then collapses a wall on a young monk, who is brought back to life by Benedict. And if you are visiting the Abbey you might meet some of them having a walk in the cloisters before they go back to their rooms to pray alone or to gather later for the common prayer. "[8] 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. John."[8]. During this time the body of St Benedict was transferred to Fleury, the modern Saint-Benoit-sur-Loire near Orleans, France. The history of the battles surrounding the Italian hill-top monastery of Monte Cassino. In 1349 a violent earthquake occurred and in February 1944 a bombardment almost flatted it. In 1057, Pope Victor II recognised the abbot of Monte Cassino as having precedence over all other abbots. [22], Coordinates: .mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap}41°29′24″N 13°48′50″E / 41.49000°N 13.81389°E / 41.49000; 13.81389, For information about the World War II battle, see, diocese of Sora-Cassino-Aquino-Pontecorvo, Pontifical Abbey of St Jerome-in-the-City, Diocese of Sora-Cassino-Aquino-Pontecorvo, The Cassino Band of Northumbria Army Cadet Force, "Vatican announces reorganisation of Montecassino Abbey", "Vatican reorganizes Montecassino, mother abbey of the Benedictines", Illustrated article on the Battle of Monte Cassino at Battlefields Europe, Monte Val de' Varri – Monte Faito – Monte San Nicola, Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park, Permanent Observer to the Council of Europe, Palace of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Palace of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, Pontificio Collegio Urbano de Propaganda Fide, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Monte_Cassino&oldid=995555732, Christian monasteries established in the 6th century, Buildings and structures in the Province of Frosinone, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, House of Retreat for the Clergy of Saints John and Paul, This page was last edited on 21 December 2020, at 18:10. In early 1944, German parachutists of the 1st Fallschirmjäger Division are sent to the centuries-old abbey on the rocky hill of Monte Cassino in Italy. Early years of the Abbey ; The Golden Age; Modern Era; The Battle of Montecassino ; The Revival of the Abbey ; Pope Benedict XVI visits the Abbey; Abbots of Montecassino; The Reconsecration of the Basilica; Live il blog dell'Abbazia di Montecassino; Heritage. found: Pantoni, Angelo. 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. Director: Harald Reinl | Stars: Joachim Fuchsberger, Antje Geerk, Ewald Balser, Elma Karlowa. [12] In 1505 the monastery was joined with that of St. Justina of Padua. 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. 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. During the period of exile, the Cluniac Reforms were introduced into the community. 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. Two German paratroopers fighting among the ruins of the Monastery. It was St. Benedict of Nursia who established this very first Benedictine monastery around the year 529. The Cathedral of Montecassino Abbey; The Museum of the Abbey; The Modelli Gallery Martin, however, was thrust out of his monastery into the role of a missionary bishop in the fourth century. [7] Benedict scholar Terrence Kardong examines why Benedict did not face stiffer opposition in his seizure of the site from the local pagans. It encouraged fine art and craftsmanship by employing Byzantine and even Saracen artisans. 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. The Abbey of Montecassino is one of the most known Abbeys in the world. 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. [20], 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. The Benedictines translated into Latin and transcribed precious manuscripts. Beautiful Monastery and WWII Site South of Rome Perched atop a rocky mountain above the town of Cassino, Montecassino is a beautiful monastery, famous as being the World War II battle site of Monte Cassino. A 17-pdr anti-tank gun and crew near Cassino, 17 May 1944. [6], Archaeologist Neil Christie notes that it was common in such hagiographies for the protagonist to encounter areas of strong paganism. Atop this hill, at 520m altitude is the most glorious and imposing abbey, home to the Benedictine Order, started here by Saint Benedict himself. 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)."[8]. The Commander-in-Chief of Allied Armies in Italy, General Sir Harold Alexander of the British army, ordered the bombing. The Allies had landed troops on the west coast of Italy at Anzio in January with the intention of breaking the deadlock in the Italian campaign. 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. Brigadier John MacFarlane explores the history and impact of the World War II battles surrounding the Italian hill-top monastery of Monte Cassino. 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. 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. [15], The Abbey was rebuilt after the war. In 1944 during World War II it was the site of the Battle of Monte Cassino and the building was destroyed by Allied bombing. With U.S. VI Corps under heavy threat at Anzio, Freyberg was under equal pressure to launch a relieving action at Cassino. In 1799, Monte Cassino was sacked again by French troops during the French Revolutionary Wars. Home An Introduction Armies Campaigns & Battles The Burma Campaign UK Book Store . Almost totally destroyed by bombing in World War II, it was rebuilt and consecrated by Pope Paul VI in 1964. The 11th and 12th centuries were the abbey's golden age. 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. 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. Montecassino Abbey (Abbazia di Montecassino) Tours The Abbey of Montecassino is one of the most famous abbeys on earth, due in part to its rich history of destruction and recovery. The abbey has been badly damaged and restored several times throughout its history, including most recently in a major battle in 1944. The abbey on Monte Cassino was originally founded by Saint Benedict in 529, making it one of Europe's oldest monasteries. 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.[11]. Many physicians came there for medical and other knowledge. 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. The area was further protected by the fast-flowing Rapido and Garigliano Rivers which ran west to east. [19] 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. Its prominent site has always made it an object of strategic importance. However, make sure to visit the Abbey before lunchtime, as visits have fixed timings. The Monastery was a pile of rubble and Cassino was not captured until May 1944 by Polish troops. 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. Monte Cassino - Monastery Hill. Paganism was still present here, but he managed to turn the place into a well-structured Christian monastery where everybody could have the dignity they deserved through praying and working. 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. 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). "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. Actually, the Germans were able to remove both the monks and the treasures of the abbey; and, after the bombardment ceased, they in… Edsel goes on to note that these cases had been delivered to Göring in December 1943, for "his birthday". On 15 February 1944 the abbey was almost completely destroyed in a series of heavy, American-led air raids. In 529 Saint Benedict chose this mountain to build a monastery that would host him … bill t wrote a review Oct 2020. Within the centuries the Abbey has met magnificence and destruction many times, and has always come out of its ruins stronger. According to chronicler Leo of Ostia the Greek artists decorated the apse, the arch and the vestibule of the basilica. 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. From the dissolution of the Italian monasteries in 1866, Monte Cassino became a national monument. Benedictine tradition holds that Scholastica established a hermitage about five miles from Monte Cassino and that this was the first convent of Benedictine nuns. 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. Ora et labora et lege: this is the motto of Saint Bendict's Rule that the monks still follow in their daily routine. And he summoned the people of the district to the faith by his unceasing preaching. In 884 Saracens sacked and then burned it down,[10] and Abbot Bertharius was killed during the attack. The Abbey of Monte Cassino is charming in its timeless beauty and a marvellous place to engage in prayer and meditation. It was rebuilt after the war. In 529 Saint Benedict chose this mountain to build a monastery that would host him and those monks following him on the way from Subiaco. "[8] 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. The Volsci in the area were defeated by the Romans in 312 B.C. Montecassino Abbey, via Montecassino s.n.c. In one story, Satan invisibly sits on a rock making it too heavy to remove until Benedict drives him off. Some others host people seeking for a moment of inner peace and serenity. Monte Cassino (sometimes called Montecassino) is a rocky hill, around 81 km southeast of Rome in the Latin Valley. Some of them study in the library surrounded by ancient books, or make researches in the archive on breathtaking manuscripts. Benedictine monks took care of the sick and wounded there according to Benedict's Rule. We pulled out of Cassino on my 20th birthday, 26th of … Monte Cassino became a model for future developments. Monte Cassino. Monte Cassino - 1st Cassino - Monastery Hill February 1944 : This file is also available as a PDF to download - right click here and select 'Save As'. A Sherman tank can be seen in the background. This abbey was founded in the fourth century by Saint Benedict is one of the largest in Italy. But it is in the museum where finally visitors can see the magnificent paintings, the wonderful manuscripts and ancient books. 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). Robert Edsel (2006) is more to the point about German looting. A remnant of the city below lingered on until it was abandoned by the remaining inhabitants about 866 for the present site, originally called Eulogomenopolis, later San Germano, and since 1871 Cassino. 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. [17] Pope Paul VI consecrated the rebuilt Basilica on 24 October 1964. In 1239, the Emperor Frederick II garrisoned troops in it during his war with the Papacy. After the reforms of the Second Vatican Council the monastery was one of the few remaining territorial abbeys within the Catholic Church. When [Benedict] the man of God arrived, he smashed the idol, overturned the altar and cut down the grove of trees. Montecassino (also spelled Monte Cassino), a small town about 80 miles south of Rome, is the home of the sacred relics and monastery of St. Benedict (480-543), the patron saint of Europe and the founder of western monasticism. "[8], 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. Then it rises three miles above it as if its peak tended toward heaven. 03043 Cassino (Fr), Italy, Tel:  +39 0776311529Email: [email protected], For press contacts and events information, Tel. The Battle of Monte Cassino (also called the Battle for Rome and the Battle for Cassino) was a battle during the Italian Campaign of World War II. Monte Cassino (today usually spelled 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. The settlement was strengthened in the 9th century by the building… 57th Field Regiment, RA ? 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 observation post by all those who were fighting in the field. At the beginning of 1944, the western half of the Winter Line was held by Germans. So in Monte Cassino St. Benedict founded a hospital that is considered today to have been the first in Europe of the new era. During reconstruction, the abbey library was housed at the Pontifical Abbey of St Jerome-in-the-City. In 1322, Pope John XXII elevated the abbey into a bishopric but this was suppressed in 1367. 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). Of the first monastery almost nothing is known. When you are visiting Monte Cassino, you can catch some wonderful panoramic views of the valley from the top of the abbey and see the Polish Cemetery. [14] 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 monastic routine called for hard work. Monastery Hill shrouded in smoke after an Allied air raid. Monte Cassino is a monastery in Lazio, Italy, 130 km southeast of Rome.It is a rocky hill overlooking the town of Cassino. This incredible mountain monastery was founded by Saint Benedict in 529 and served as a reminder to locals and travelers alike of the power or prayer. [13] However, during the bombing no Germans were present in the abbey. The Rule of St. Benedict mandated the moral obligations to care for the sick. In 883 the monastery was sacked by Saracens and abandoned again. On 23 October 2014, Pope Francis applied the norms of the motu proprio Ecclesia Catholica of Paul VI (1976)[1] 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. Monte Cassino, in the province of Lazio, is located 81 miles South of Rome is the site of the ancient Roman town of Casinum, but it is best known for its historic Benedictine Abbey that was a focal point for one the most bloody WWII battles. Then the Crypt is there beneath to be revealed with the astonishing golden mosaics. 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. The unique Beneventan script flourished there during Desiderius' abbacy. "The first to demolish it were Lombards on foot in 580; the last were Allied bombers in 1944. Monte Cassino (today usually spelled 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. The site was sacked by Napoleon's troops in 1799. 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. It was sacked or destroyed a number of times. The monastery became known as a center of culture, art, and learning. Lacking strong defences the area was subject to barbarian attack and became abandoned and neglected with only a few struggling inhabitants holding out.[4]. From this, we can infer a fairly small community. The community of monks resided first at Teano and then from 914 at Capua before the monastery was rebuilt in 949. 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. The abbey was dissolved by the Italian government in 1866. And like conquering Israel, Benedict came precisely to carry out this purification. A former head of the ancient abbey of Monte Cassino in Italy is under investigation for allegedly stealing €500,000 (£355,000) of church funds and … "[8], Once established at Monte Cassino, Benedict never left. The Monte Cassino Monastery during the Second World War was at the center of war events. The first monastery on Monte Cassino was sacked by the invading Lombards around 570 and abandoned. 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. +39 0776311529  Email: [email protected], Email: [email protected] It was directly subject to the pope and many monasteries in Italy were under its authority. Monte Cassino (Benedictine monastery) Sources. [2][3], The history of Monte Cassino is linked to the nearby town of Cassino which was first settled in the fifth century B.C. Subsequent investigations found that the only people killed in the monastery by the bombing were 230 Italian civilians seeking refuge there. Every day thousands of pilgrims and visitors from all around the world come to this threshold. The building became a national monument with the monks as custodians of its treasures. M/S of the Lord Abbot, head of the Anglican community of Benedictine monks, speaking in grounds of abbey. Later we learnt that the Polish flag was flying over the Monastery. During the Battle of Monte Cassino in the Italian Campaign of World War II (January–May 1944) the Abbey was heavily damaged. There was an ancient temple there in which Apollo used to be worshipped according to the old pagan rite by the foolish local farmers. It was a series of four attacks by the Allies against the Winter Line in Italy held by the Germans and Italians. In Cassino …monastery on the summit of Monte Cassino. It maintained good relations with the Eastern Church, even receiving patronage from Byzantine emperors. [21], 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. 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. 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. 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). Monks caring for the patients in Monte Cassino constantly needed new medical knowledge. 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. The Romans renamed the settlement Casinum and built a temple to Apollo at the citadel. And, of course, it must be remembered that Martin as a bishop was a much more prominent churchman than Benedict. As well, Corps HQ did not fully appreciate the difficulty in getting 4th Indian Infantry Division into place in the mountains and supplying them on the ridges and valleys north of Cassino (using mules across 7 miles (11 km) of goat tracks over terrain in full view of the monastery, exposed to accurate arti… II New Zealand Corps 2nd AGRA (Army Group Royal Artillery) 23rd (Army) Field Regiment, RA ? Soon many monasteries were founded throughout Europe, and everywhere there were hospitals like those in Monte Cassino. An earthquake damaged the Abbey in 1349, and although the site was rebuilt it marked the beginning of a long period of decline. They can go through the history of the Abbey from the very beginning till today and grasp why Montecassino Abbey is known as the Lighthouse of Western Civilization. Once again, therefore, the battle commenced without the attackers being fully prepared. 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