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  Acoba, Angelica A. September 19, 2018 Arriola, Armalyn H. BENE02 Cabangal, Ervin Carl P. Evangelista, Reina Mae E. Galsim, Juan Carlo F. Tan, Lance Adrian G. NURSIA Benedict (c. 480-547) appears to have been born into a wealthy late Roman Empire family in Norcia (Nursia) of Umbria in the mountains of central Italy. However, Cusack cautions that saints being born into noble families was a common exemplum . 14  His family was likely Christian. D II suggests that his traditional twin sister, St. Scholastica, had been consecrated to God as a child. In the late fifth century, pagan, Jewish and Christian households were found in Norcia. The name Benedict (  Benedictus  —blessed one) was found among Christians and non-Christians alike. Apparently, Benedict was not to be a religious, as he was sent off to school for further education. 15   In Roman culture, the family was ruled by the  paterfamilias , generally the father. In some cases, a brother would have control over a sister if their father had died young. Youth were expected to obey their fathers. If they did not, they could be disinherited from the family fortune. The control and upbringing of very young children were accomplished by household slaves. These were generally nurses or tutors. Boys, and often young girls, were taught to read and write. Children might see their parents at dinner and other occasions, but they generally spent most of the time with their nurses and tutors. Benedict’s life, as described in D II, can be broken into two stages: eremetical (hermit) while in Subiaco and cenobitical (part of a monastic community) at Monte Cassino. Within the first stage are three phases. Each ends when Benedict makes the decision to leave a spiritually dark or dangerous situation. During this period, he performs miracles and is fraught by Page of 17  temptations and spiritual tests. In his second life stage, which is the longest, he founds the Monte Cassino community, performs miracles and experiences visions. Once at Monte Cassino, it is thought that he compiled his  Rule , perhaps based partly on his own experiences. SUBIACO A city in the Province of Rome, twenty-five miles from Tivoli, received its name from the artificial lakes of the villa of Nero and is renowned for its sacred grotto (Sagro Speco), the Abbey of St. Scholastica, and the archiepiscopal residence and Church of St. Andrew, which crowns the hill. When St. Benedict, at the age of fourteen, retired from the world he lived for three years in a cave above the River Anio, supplied with the necessaries of life by a monk, St. Roman. The grotto became the cradle of the Benedictine Order.- St. Benedict was able to build twelve monasteries and to place twelve monks in each. The one at the grotto seems to have had  but a short existence; in 854 we find a record of its renovation. In this year Leo IV is said to have consecrated an altar to Sts. Benedict and Scholastica and another to St. Sylvester. Another renovation took place in 1053 under Abbot Humbert of St. Scholastica. Abbot John V, created cardinal by Gregory VII, made the grotto the terminus of a yearly procession, built a new road, and had the altars reconsecrated. Shortly before 1200 there existed a community of twelve, which Innocent III made a priory; John XXII in 1312 appointed a special abbot. A new road was built by the city in 1688. The sacred grotto is still a favourite pilgrimage, and on 27 October 1909, Pius X granted a daily plenary indulgence to those who receive Holy Communion there and pray according to the intention of the Holy Father (Acta. Ap. Sedis, II, 405). A short description of the grotto the church, and chapels, is given by Chandlery, Pilgrim Walks in Rome (New York, 1908), p. 469. The Abbey of St. Scholastica, about a mile and a half below the grotto was built by St. Benedict himself (about 520), and endowed by the Roman patricians, Tertullus and Æquitius. The second abbot, St. Honoratus, Page of 27  changed the old monastery into a chapter room and built a new one, dedicating it to Sts. Cosmas and Damian. It was destroyed by the Lombards in 601 and abandoned for a century. By order of John VII it was rebuilt by Abbot Stephen and consecrated to Sts. Benedict and Scholastica. Demolished in 840 by the Saracens and again in 981 by the Hungarians, it rose from its ruins. Benedict VII consecrated the new church, and henceforth the abbey was known by the name St. Scholastica. In 1052 Leo IX came to Subiaco to settle various disputes and to correct abuses; a similar visit was made by Gregory VII. Special favour was shown by Pascal II, who took the abbey from the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Tivoli and made it an abbacy nullius. Its temporal welfare was also a care of the popes. Thus, among others, Innocent III, at his visit, in 1203, increased the revenues of the abbey. With the decline of religious fervour, strifes and dissension arose to such an extent that Abbot Bartholomew in 1364, by command of the pope, had to dismiss some of the incorrigible monks and fill their places with religious from other monasteries. Numbers were brought in from Germany and for many decades Subiaco was a centre of German thrift, science, and art. Still, it seems the discipline was not satisfactory, for Urban VI (1378-89) abolished the abbots for life, took away from the monks the right of election, and gave the administration and revenues to a member of the Curia. Callistus III, in 1455, gave the abbey in commendan to a cardinal. The first of these was the Spanish Cardinal Torquemada and the second Roderigo Borgia (later Alexander VI), who remodeled the Castrum Sublacence, once the summer resort of the popes, and made it the residence of the commendatory abbot. MONTE CASSINO An abbey nullius  situated about eighty miles south of Rome, the cradle of the Benedictine Order. About 529 St. Benedict left Subiaco, to escape the persecutions of the jealouspriest, Florentius. Accompanied by a chosen band, among them Sts. Maurus and Placid, he journeyed to Monte Cassino, one of the properties made over to him by Tertullus, St. Placid's father. The town Page of 37  of Cassinum (Cassino), lying at the foot of the mountain, had been destroyed by the Goths some thirty-five years earlier, but a temple of Apollo still crowned the summit of the mountain, and the few remaining inhabitants were still sunk in idolatry. Benedict's first act was to break the image of Apollo and destroy the altar, on the site of which he built a church dedicated to St. John the Baptist, and an oratory in honour of St. Martin of Tours. Around the temple there was an enclosing wall with towers at intervals, the arx  (citadel) of the destroyed city of Cassinum. In one of these towers the sainttook up his abode, and to this fact its preservation is due, for, while the rest of the Roman arx has been destroyed, this tower has been carefully preserved and enclosed in the later buildings. Outside the existing monastery, however, there still remains a considerable part of a far more ancient enclosure, viz. a cyclopean wall some twenty-six feet high and fourteen and a half feet in thickness, which once ran down the mountain side enclosing a large triangular space that contained the Cassinum of pre-Roman times. Once established at Monte Cassino, St. Benedict never left it. There was written the Rule whose influence was to spread over all Western monachism; there he received the visit of Totila in 542, the only date in his life of which we have certain evidence; there he died, and was buried in one tomb with his sister, St. Scholastica. After the saint's death, the abbeycontinued to flourish until 580, when it was pillaged and burned by the Lombards, the surviving monks fleeing to Rome. Here, welcomed by the pope, Pelagius II, and permitted to establish a monastery beside the Lateran Basilica, they remained for a hundred and thirty years, during which time Monte Cassino seems not to have been entirely deserted, though nothing like a regular community existed there. To this period also is assigned the much discussed translation of St. Benedict's body to Fleury in France, the truth of which it seems almost impossible to doubt. The restoration of Monte Cassino took place in 718, when Abbot Petronax, a native of Brescia, was entrusted with this task by Gregory II. Aided by some of the monks from the Lateran monastery, Petronax restored the buildings at Monte Cassino and built a new church Page of 47
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