Monte Cassino Abbey

restored abbey of Monte Cassino; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

Benedictine abbey near Rome, Italy, it is the cradle of the Benedictine Order which was founded in 529 at Monte Cassino by Saint Benedict of Nursia, who wrote his famous Rule there. The abbey was burned by Lombards in 580, and restored by Abbot Petronax in 718. It was sacked again in 884, and restored again in 949. It reached the zenith of its reputation under Abbot Desiderius from 1058 to 1087, when the school of copyists and miniature painters became famous throughout the West. In 1321 Pope John XXII made the church of Monte Cassino a cathedral and its abbot, a bishop. The change proved disastrous, for the bishop was often a secular prelate who adopted the income for his personal use. Pope Urban V temporarily restored the community in 1370. In 1504 Pope Julius II united Monte Cassino to the Congregation of Saint Justina of Padua which was thenceforth known as the Cassinese Congregation. It was confiscated by the Italian government with the other religious houses in 1866; the abbot was given the title Guardian, in view of his administration of the diocese, one of the most extensive in Italy, which was united to the See of Atina in 1818. In 1944 the house was bombed into ruins during the World War II Battle of Monte Cassino. It was rebuilt by the Italian government, consecrated by Pope Paul VI in 1964, and can be reached by visitors.

Profiles Monks of Monte Cassino

Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Monte Cassino Abbey“. Gazetteer of the Faith. CatholicSaints.Info. 15 June 2019. Web. 28 January 2022. <>