The abbey of Casamari is situated in the territory of Veroli (Frosinone), on the Via Maria, mid-way between Frosinone and Sora, and lies on a rocky hill sloping down to the torrent Amaseno, at about 300 metres above sea-level. It was built on the ruins of an ancient Roman municipium named Cereatae, being dedicated to the goddess Ceres, at Marianae, for it was the birthplace, or at least a residence, of Caius Marius, from whom the abbey later derived its name. The documents witness the presence of a Benedectine monastic community in the 11th century, under the name of Casamari.
The monastery soon showed a strong vitality both spiritual as well as social and economical, but, in the early 12th century it was affected by a rather long crisis due to a sort of ungovernability (which is witnessed by the frequent resignation of its abbots) caused by both a decline of the Curtis system and the political and religious confusion of that period.
During the schism of Anaclet II (1130-1138), when Bernard of Clairvaux, by his persistant work of mediation, became the leading promoter of the Church’s unity through the recognition of Innocent II as pope, Italy became acquainted with the Cistercians. She appreciated their spirituality and requested their presence, while all Europe watched and supported the Order’s astonishing, miraculous expansion.
Casamari suffered heavy damages in the early 15th century when Ladislaus of Anjou, after storming Veroli, besieged and plundered the monastery. Casamari is still one of the Cistercian monasteries in which monastic life has had no interruptions since its foundation, except for the short period 1811-1814. The revival of religious life has been made possible by the institution of seminaries (1916) which have in a short time set many young men on the way to the Cistercian ideal. Thus the abbey, together with its dependent houses, was declared a monastic Congregation by the Holy See in 1929. Its Constitutions were approved provisionally in the same year and permanently on June 13th, 1943 by Pope Pius XII.
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