Wednesday 18 October 2017

History

From the wooded slopes of Mount Canto in the area known from time immemorial as La Fontanella (the Little Fountain), the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Egidio rises in solemn majesty above the treetops of its green forest glade. The Abbey was founded on January 13th, 1080. On this day in the convent of Saint Mar k, in the city of Lodi, as is testified in a parchment document in the archives of the Abbey of Cluny in France, the young Bergamo no­bleman of longobard descent, Albert of Prezzate, made an official donation to the Cluny monks, of a section of land of his property. On this land Albert had already commissioned, at his own expense, the con­struction of a monastery dedicated to Saint Egidio, and on the day of the donation, construction was already well under way. 
Albert was already known for having founded the Monastery of Pontida. He had gone to Borgogna to visit Saint Hugo, the sixth abbot of the Cluny Monastery. There he was greatly impressed with the vigorous spirituality which emanated from this fa­mous French religious center. The Cluny doctrines and activities were perfectly in harmony with the atmosphere of moral reawakening and reform that characteri­zed the times of Pope Niccolò II. This Pon­tiff, infact, had taken steps to check the ri­sing tendency of the political state to inter­fere in ecclesiastical matters. Not long after the donation Albert entered the Benedicti­ne order and became the abbot of the Pon­tida Monastery; Here he continued his good works and here he died on September 2nd 1095, revered and honoured for his saintly life.

BIBL. U. ZANETTI, Il monastero di Sant’Egidio a Fontanella di Sotto il Monte, Ed. Bergamo, Bergamo 1993, pp. 124-136.