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Visit the Faithful Monks of Casamari Abbey

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
October 22nd, 2011
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The Abbey of Casamari (Abbazia di Casamari) is a 13th-century active Cistercian monastery southeast of Rome, in the Italian region of Lazio.

ROME, ITALY (Catholic Online) - The Abbey of Casamari was built between 1203 and 1217 AD.  A Benedictine monastery occupied the spot previously, but had fallen into decline by the end of the 12th century.

The original Benedictine monastery did not remain in ruins for long. Cistercian monks arrived and rebuilt the entire facility. They added a new abbey Church and monastery based on the standard Cistercian pattern of the time.

They named the place, Abbey of Casamari, after Caius Marius, who was elected Consul of Rome and astounding seven times, reigning before the birth of Christ--during the time of the Roman Republic. The name literally translated means "house of Marius."

The abbey's history has not been an easy one. The abbey withstood a siege in 1417, leadership of varying quality, closure by Napoleon in 1811, and the seizure of its assets in 1783. Despite these hardships, the monks have remained. The abbey's facilities were extensively restored in the 1950s following World War II.

Today, approximately 20 monks continue to make their lives at the abbey. The public is welcome to visit and have a sample of the spiritual life of the monks. The monks enjoy common prayer, and Gregorian chant throughout the week. They also work hard to earn a living for themselves, to support the poor, and their missions.

A small museum and bookstore has also been established at the abbey, and accommodations for guests are provided. 

For anyone looking to have a sample of what life has been like for the pious and hard-working Cistercian monks, the Abbey of Casamari is an ideal destination. 


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