The Baroque style pipe organ, built by Neapolitan Mascioni di Cuvio, is formed by over 5000 pipes and has three keyboards. The seizure of Monte Cassino enabled the Anglo-Americans to proceed towards Rome, which capitulated shortly before the Normandy invasion. Stunning are also the frescoes in the cathedral, representing stories of the oath taken by the monks entering the community. While the French advanced on their right and the British X Corps launched an attack on their left, the Americans of the 34th and 36th Divisions assaulted the high ground above Cassino. This was the second of three, unsuccessful attempts -the first took place from January 17th to the 25th, the last from March 18th to March the 25th- by the Allied forces to take Montecassino. Unfortunately, all was to be destroyed in later centuries. Most Famous Italian Liquors: Do you Really Know Them All. In 883, it was attacked by the Arabs, who burned the abbey down and ferociously killed the Benedictine Bishop of Montecassino. It was the Volsci who first built a citadel on the summit of Monte Cassino. In the course of the battles, the ancient abbey of Monte Cassino, where St. Benedict first established the Rule that ordered monasticism in the west, was entirely destroyed by Allied bombing and artillery barrages in February 1944. Chiudi Menu. During Desiderius’ years of rule, a large number of spiritual and artistic works were produced, including some of the most famous illuminated manuscripts of the high Middle Ages. The leader of a non-cloistered monastic community of Benedictine women elected for a term. Renowned for its cultural appeal, and its centrality in the diffusion of spiritual and theological works, the abbey underwent reconstruction works involving some of the most talented artists of the time, who travelled to Montecassino from all over the country, and indeed, Europe, to contribute with their art to its decoration, coming from as far as Greece to enhance the Abbey’s beauty and splendour. Before its distruction, the Abbey had managed to attract notable intellectual and religious figures, including Erchempert, author of the Historia Longobardorum Benevantanorum Degentium, the “History of the Lombards residing in Benevento.” Two centuries would pass before the Abbey could return to its former splendor. by the Volsci people who held much of central and southern Italy. The story of how Monte Cassino School began is told here: a story as true and honest to its core as the Sisters who founded the School in 1926. The Abbey of Monte Cassino is charming in its timeless beauty and a marvellous place to engage in prayer and meditation. There is also a secret underground church, built in 1544, where you can find different chambers with mosaic tile works. It is really a delight to visit the Abbey of Montecassino to admire its beautiful architectural splendor and remember its history. The invasion of Monte Cassino led to the loss of around 54,000 allied and 20,000 Germans lives. St. Benedict founded the Abbey in 529 AD, after destroying the existing structure of the temple of Apollo. 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. When it was attacked by the Lombards in 584, the ruling abbot and his monks sought refuge in Rome, where the community remained for about a century. On the 15th of February, the Abbey of Montecassino was entirely destroyed by American bombings. Would love your thoughts, please comment. Prioress. However, just check out the timings as usually this museum remains closed during the winter months, though it may be opened on Sundays for visitors. (ca. The Abbey of Monte Cassino is charming in its timeless beauty and a marvellous place to engage in prayer and meditation. St. Benedict set up eight times of prayer, known as “hours.” The intent is to consecrate the hours of the day to God. The significant location of Montecassino made it the target of a series of invasions and attacks, which climaxed in February 1944, when the Allied forces tried to break through the German militarized area around Rome and free the city. The Bramante cloister measures 40 metres in length and around 30 metres in width, and an octagonal well, supported by Corinthian columns, adorns its center. Italy, Italian, Italian Culture, Italian Food, Tourism News, History of 'Monument to Vittorio Emanuele', “Smart working:” Italy can’t get her head around it, Anglo-Italian Covid-19 vaccine trials halted, Italy approves exemption to allow international couples to travel and meet, Italians in America: from Discrimination to Adoration (or almost). This hidden treasure is also home to a beautiful marble statue of St. Benedict. The history of Monte Cassino is linked to the nearby town of Cassino which was first settled in the fifth century B.C. 5.17). However, they held strategic positions along the steep slopes just below the walls of the abbey. The Volsci in the area were defeated by the Romans in 312 B.C. Four days later, an attempt was made north of Cassino by Major General Charles W. Ryder's 34th Infantry Division with the goal of crossing the river and wheeling left to strike Monte Cassino. However, it was the infamous battle of Monte Cassino, on the 15th of February 1944, to embody the bloodiest and most tragic of all destructions. Due to its significant location, this place has always been a target of military attacks throughout history, the most gruesome of all certainly being the Battle of Monte Cassino fought during the Second World War. As a result, the Abbey became a nevralgic communication center at the core of an area of great political and commercial relevance, including in its basin parts of the Lombard principality of Benevento, as well as some Byzantine states along the coast. Crossing the flooded Rapido, the division moved into the hills behind the town and gained a foothold after eight days of heavy fighting. It is also, because of its history, a monument to the horror of war and, at once, to the resilience of man. Nothing of the original structures of the medieval abbeys, however, has remained. The most outstanding portrays the Madonna and child with golden tiles. At this time, the body of St. Benedict was translated to France. Because of this, the monastery was destroyed several times. By continuing to use this website, you consent to our use of these cookies. After his death in 543, Benedict’s monastery found itself at the centre of many a military action, in name of its strategic location. Beyond the classroom, Monte Cassino School students develop socially and morally within a supportive community of educators and parents to develop the active skills for life. The monastery of Monte Cassino has been destroyed and rebuilt four times in the course of history. The Allies, whose troops included US, Indian, Kiwi and British soldiers, lost about 54,000 lives. The Benedictine Sisters were not above dumpster diving for classroom carpet, or borrowing money from the Bishop as they fought for their school, their beliefs, but most of all, their students. 480-545) Author of the most widely used Western, The gathering of those who belong to a particular, Prayerful reading of scripture from the Latin, meaning “sacred reading.” It is a distinctive aspect of, The time when Benedictines gather for recitation of the Psalms, singing of canticles and hymns, listening to readings from the scripture, and prayers as a means of practicing the ancient Christian direction “to pray always” (1 Thess. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. There are lovely paintings, too, such as “The Glory of St. Benedict”, which depicts St. Benedict surrounded by bishops, monks and nuns. The Romans renamed the settlement Casinumand built a temple to Apollo at the citadel. Today, a series of cemeteries stand to honor the men who fought and died there. The battle is among the most gruesome taking place on Italian territory during the Second World War. These definitions are integral to the Benedictine Values followed by the Sisters of St. Joseph's Monastery. The second assault carried out by the Polish troops, aided by Moroccan tribesmen forces specialized in mountain warfare, proved immensely expensive from the point of view of human losses: the German 1st Parachute Division was ousted from its position and was captured by the Allies. The first assault reduced drastically the number of active German forces and enabled the British 8th Army to shatter the German lines across the Liri River. Finally, the Podolian Ulans Regiment captured the ruins on May 18th. The entrance to the Abbey comprises three bronze doors with various inscriptions depicting the possessions bestowed on the Abbey throughout the centuries. Home; SHOP; Schedule a guide tour; Mass Hours and general opening hours; Visit Montecassino; Worship. When a tragic earthquake hit the area in 1349, the Abbey was razed and had to be built again. However, make sure to visit the Abbey before lunchtime, as visits have fixed timings. The Abbey was founded by St. Benedict and built over the site of the pagan temple of Apollo, where the sculpture of Apollo was destroyed along with the altar. In the hope of seizing Monte Cassino and unhinging the Gustav Line, Clark ordered an all-out attack February 7. The Liturgy of the Hours is also known as the, A small consultative and deliberative body that assists the abbot or prioress with matters that do not require the attention of the whole, The mountain in central Italy where Benedict founded a, The leader of a non-cloistered monastic community of. Though the Abbey of Montecassino was entirely destroyed, all of its precious historical treasures were rescued and transported to Rome. Thus, a fourth battle took place, which was fought under the leadership of General Wladyslaw Anders of the 2nd Polish Corps. It rose to fame again during the 11th century, under the abbacy of Desiderius. If you are visiting Montecassino, make sure to see the city Museum to find a vast collection of some of the most magnificent artifacts created in named of this holy place. Monastic Life; The Rule of Saint Benedict; Lectio Divina Four century later, in 1799, the site was invaded by Napoleonic troops and destroyed once more. The western half of the Gustav Line was held by the Germans, but the hilltop of Monte Cassino was not occupied. It is also, because of its history, a monument to the horror of war and, at once, to the resilience of man. In that occasion, it became see of a Cathedral, which was later combined with that of St Justina of Padua. Below is a glossary to help you understand the Catholic Benedictine religion's terminology. Modern excavations have found no remains of the temple, but ruins of an amphitheatre, a theatre, and a mausol… It was completely rebuilt after the end of the war and newly consecrated in 1964 by Pope Paul VI. There are plenty of interesting things to see inside the monastery, such as the statue of St. Scolastica, which was recreated after the end of World War II. Soon after that, Monte Cassino began enjoying its own renaissance, thanks to the work of its religious community, as well as the help of some notable noblemen: by 744, Gisulf II, duke of Benevento, had donated land to the Abbey with the aim of constituting territorial, secular dependencies. The Benedictine Sisters pray together four times a day: morning prayer (Lauds), midday prayer (None), evening prayer (Vespers) and night prayer (Compline). Monte Cassino had finally fallen to the victorious Allies but the cost in men and material had been prodigious. 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