Camaldolese History #4, Primitive Romualdian Observance

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Camaldolese History #4




Okay, the lecture, this particular period is, what is it, the fourth one on primitive Romualdian spirituality. If you've read the article, which you have, because I know you make everybody else read it, all those poor oblates-to-be, all of these words are in there. So I just put them back up here so that you'd recognize the words as I say them, and it's just a good review anyway. It's part of our heritage, and also for spelling, if you wanted to mark some of them down. But this particular lecture will just be a review, if you've read the article. I used about half of that article to form, I mean, yeah, to form maybe a third of the talk I gave last year in Italy. I just expanded it so that what you see in the book to come this fall, in Chapter 1, will not be just the article again. Maybe a third of it will be rehash of the article, and the rest of it is new stuff.


Anyway, we want to talk about primitive Romualdian spirituality. Remember here, Nana, we're not talking about Kamaldoli's spirituality. I have to keep taking these off because they're reading glasses, three levels of reading glasses. You're blurry, blurry, and worse, even more blurry. When we're talking about Romualdian, the Romualdian world, we're basically talking about Romuald, his early disciples, early followers, those early foundations that they made, and then also Peter Damian's foundations at Fonte Avalon. On all these little foundations that Fonte Avalon made, that's what we're talking about when we're talking about the Romualdian world. This is pre-Kamaldoli. Actually, Kamaldoli is the last foundation of Romualds.


It's part of the Romualdian world, but when we're going to talk, when we're going to move from Romualdian world to Kamaldoli's history, we're talking about a century and a half down the road, when Kamaldoli becomes the head of a huge congregation, as you'll see when we go into the history. We were a huge congregation at one point. But for now, we're talking about the roots. So we're talking about, as I said, Romuald, Peter Damian, their followers, and the foundations they made. When we look at the sources, both primary and secondary sources, regarding the Romualdian reform, that is, what givens do we find in the Romualdian reform, it might read something like the list I've come up with, the Rule of Benedict, surely.


Solitude, silence, fasting, prayer, in parentheses, penance, and certainly the union of aramidical and cenobitical communities under a hermit superior. So within the Romualdian world, one phenomenon we're going to see is that you'll see a synobium together with a hermitage, and the hermit being the superior over everyone. This is new, because until you get to Romuald, what hermits you had were attached to some abbot somewhere, or off living on their own, off in the wilds, like Iron John, and trying


to make it, or living in caves. And so when you get to Romuald, he's organizing things, he's trying to bring hermits together. He's also, not just hermitages, he's also founding cenobitic communities as well. But when they're cenobites and anchorites together, he'll always put a hermit, I shouldn't say always, because the thing is it didn't happen all that often, but when it did happen, he had a hermit superior in charge, which is something new. Which in a certain juridical sense, if you think about it, for the first time establishes the significance, the juridical significance of a hermit as such, for the first time. Although, you know, in the desert, fathers of the Egyptian deserts and whatnot, some of the hermits were great saints, and great movers, church movers at one point. I'm talking in the Western tradition, until now, hermits have just been wild men, basically,


or enclosed individuals under an abbot in the monastery, for the most part. One of our comaldery scholars, Mansueto de la Santa, did a lot of early studies on Peter Damien and Romuald, and the whole Romualdian world, and I'm going to read two quotes from his work. Based on greater solitude, silence, and fasting, the Romualdian system of life imitated the ancient Egyptian anchorites in the penitential ascetical sphere. But for the rest, it faithfully referred to the observance of the Benedictine rule. In other words, it was organized hermiticism. This is something totally new. And thankfully, it happened, you know, because, I mean, for the most part of church history,


hermits have always been looked down upon, or certainly looked askance at, even by fellow monastics. I'm not quite sure why that is, but it's been there, and the whole thing between Cenobites and anchorites, within even the Benedictine order, that whole, although it's lessened now, because a lot of abbeys are finding more and more of their people want to live at least a semi-hermetical life, or try it, or let's get a hermitage started where the monks can at least spend a week, or something like that. There's a lot more of that cry arising, and, you know, if you really look, if you're true to monastic principles and monastic history, if you look at our roots, what is it? It's anchoritic in the beginning, you know, until becoming, it's certainly anchoritic. So it's there. So even if there's the fear that people are going to go off on their own and be individualistic


and, you know, go wacko, or whatever, if they're going to be anchorites, and that is a lot of the fear, I think, throughout history, it's essentially very important that Romuald made this, in his world, made this place for hermits to be, and to be recognized as such, and to have a juridical standing. Just one question there. So, Romuald goes back to the Egyptian tradition of anchorites. The Romualdian world does, yeah. Yes. Okay. Then he's also influenced, as you said last time, by these monks from the East that are in Ravenna at that time. Well, not the monks from the East, the Eastern Church. Eastern Church, yes. Now, is their source also the Egyptian crowd, or is it the Syrian? It's more Basel.


It's more, yes. It's Baselian, which is Cenobitic, yeah. But what I meant by the Eastern Church is, the churches in Ravenna and Venice, the whole, the liturgy, the vestment was Byzantine, right? In that sense. And so, the way some of the Romualdian, early Romualdian monastic churches were built are like right out of Byzantium. It's just incredible. Little jewels, you know. It's beautiful. But Basel's idea also had anchorites. No. Didn't it at all? No, Basel's the one who... He's, I mean, he did, he was based on the small communities, but as it developed, because now they have, not Athos, but they have hermits living on their own, there wasn't an existence at the time of Romuald. Athos? I don't believe so. I mean, there might have been a few anchorites living out there. I'm just trying to work out, so he picked up the idea, he saw these hermits living on


their own in Europe. All over the place, yeah. And he brings up this idea of making them live together. Where did he get that idea from? Did it come from the Byzantium tradition? Or was it something that came from him? More from the... See, when they were, remember when they were at Kusha? Yes. St. Michael of Kusha for about three, four years, trying to figure out what they were going to do, and that's when he came forward as a spiritual master. What he was reading at that time was basically Cassian. He was reading John Cassian and some of the other fragments of desert literature that were available at that time. And they were mulling over these. And then he was teaching this back to the group. He gleaned monastic principles from there. I mean, he was already a monk. He was already a Cenobite from Santa Polonare. It isn't that he didn't have any monastic principles, but he was finding...


He was preparing the ground for hermitages, for the hermit life. So really, what Della Santa is saying is that you get both east and west. If you think of Egypt as east, you get... And Della Santa doesn't even go into the Byzantine thing at all. You get the Rule of Benedict, the RB, and the desert literature together. How are you going to live both of these together? Romuild tries to give flesh and bones to that kind of theory. Here's another quote from Della Santa. Monte Cassino recognized Romuild's institute as legitimate and authentic. In fact, this is part of the history, in 997, Abbot John II of Monte Cassino retired to a nearby hermitage with five of his monks,


where Romuild's disciple, John Gradenigo, had been living for nine years, and they joined him. The abbot left the community and became a hermit. And then, of course, somebody else took over Monte Cassino. The Romuildian eremitical movement did not come to be considered antagonistic to Benedictine monasticism in those early years, but even a magnificent fruit of it. So they saw it as a further elaboration of the Benedictine ethos, that is, going into the... You see, it's not just going into a hermitage and living off alone somewhere. It's being a hermit in community. That's Romuild's point. Romuild organizes hermits together, and they're supposed to be living in community, with the exception, once in a while, of a recluse here and there. But even they are attached to a community. You see? So he saw it, and good Benedictine...


Romuild died a Benedictine of Polonare in Classe, even though he had started this whole movement, which became a huge congregation. He died a Benedictine of Ravenna, and former abbot of the place, actually. He saw what he was doing as an elaboration of the rule of Benedict, nothing antagonistic, not a discrediting of it. You take the rule of Benedict, and then you take the hermit aspect, bring those into community, and apply the rule of Benedict to that as much as possible, and give it some authenticity. Okay. I'm fine with... You know, I don't have to go over all of this stuff, because you've read it. I mean, I can go through these lists really quick, and maybe just pick out a few, and whatever. I welcome comments and questions, since we all have...


Go ahead. Just I was thinking, if you're talking about the threefold good, that's specifically in the Mount Athos record, I mean, with the early... Romualdian, yeah. That's Bruno and Otto, came up with the... Yeah, Otto. Emperor Otto. Okay, and Bruno wrote it down. Bruno Boniface. Correct. Yeah, and the two of them together, whether it's... It's really Brunonian and Ottonian, in germ. But the Romualdian world, you know, embraced that, certainly with the mission to the east. That was... Yeah, I'm just thinking, this would be a benedictine spirit of God, you know what I mean? That's pretty clearly starting from there. I mean, has that been in the community, just repeatedly. And then there's soliloquy. Oh, I see what you're saying. I see, yeah, sure. And it's certainly apostolic as well. Yeah, which we don't really...


No, we're going to have a whole lecture on the threefold good down the line. But when you get to Evangelium Paganorum, whether you look upon that, as the later elaborations did, as martyrdom or reclusion, or becoming a cardinal or a bishop and having to give up yourself for apostolic life, all of those were looked upon under the aegis of Evangelium Paganorum. Imagine becoming a cardinal so you can preach the gospel to the pagans. Really, what you're doing is you're dealing with other bishops and your own Christians. It's just a little side comment. Now, again, once more, what we're talking about here in the Romaldan world is before Fonte Avalana becomes its own motherhouse of the Avalanita congregation


and before Kamaldoli becomes the motherhouse of a huge congregation, the Kamaldolese congregation. Later on, the Avalanita congregation is going to get swept historically into the Kamaldolese congregation in the 16th century. But we'll get to that when we get to the historical part. So right now, we're talking about these two basic sides of one world. It seems funny because, you know, we think, well, what? Manuel didn't found Fonte Avalana. So how is it Romaldan? Well, some people say he did found Fonte Avalana or at least was instrumental in the first years of its foundation, way before Peter Damian came on the scene. Who knows? But this certainly became Romaldan. Their main prior, St. Peter Damian,


I don't know what number he was, say their sixth, seventh prior, whatever, became the great saint and the great promulgator of the Romaldan world, wrote The Life of Rodno. And in his foundations and his help to the Romaldan foundations that he didn't found himself but helped out, that were still going, but found, floundering? Foundering. Which word is it? They were sort of getting shaken. Floundering? Floundering. Floundering. This is what we're talking about, the Romaldan world then. So we're basically talking about the 11th century. Yeah, let's call it the 11th century Romaldan world. All of these foundations that Romuald made, this is the one in Ravenna,


yeah, Ravenna, he made it. Dergamento di Bagno, not so important. Paradio, we're talking about, when we're talking about the mission to the east, we're talking about Paradio. That's where you have a hermitagenic and the whole connection with the emperor and that whole business. Afterwards, when they went to Poland, he went to Istria, remember I mentioned last time? St. Michael di Lermo, that's the Istrian place. Val di Costa is where he died. Not too far from Fontevillano, not too far from Fabriano. Do you know Fabriano? Do you know that area at all? Perugia, Assisi? Vento Assisi? Yeah. Just over the mountains from Assisi is Fontevillano, not far away at all, about an hour, 45 minutes to an hour drive. So one of the towns right next to, excuse this, right next to Fontevillano, just half an hour away


and very connected historically to Fontevillano, Gubbio. Gubbio is the whole wolf, St. Francis and the wolf at Gubbio and that whole business. And that's on the way to Assisi. Yeah. I thought maybe that would give you an idea of where it is. Sitria is very important. Our Lady of Holy Mary, Santa Maria di Sitria, just down the mountain from Fontevillano, you know? Very important foundation. Romulo lived a good 10, 15 of his, of his what? However many years he lived. We don't know exactly. About 80, let's say, 75 to 80 years. 1027 he died. We say he was born maybe around 950, so 77 years. He lived at Sitria. Sitria is also where these monks put him into prison for a short, a short stay. Orvieto.


We have three foundations near Orvieto. This is questionable. The hermitage near Valambrosa, we're not so certain that he, that he did found a hermitage near Valambrosa, but he may have. This one is questionable. Camaldoli at the end, of course. I already have a paragraph. Rome, near Rome, he also founded a small hermitage near Rome. Peter Damian, these are the main foundations. Not in any, by any means, the list of Peter Damian's foundations. You can add on to this, like about 30 little parishes and little missions where one or two monks at most were. I'm just going to put all those, all those names. I can give you lists if you want. I can show you where to see them.


One thing, with the, with the exception of Poposa, which was a huge abbey already at this time. Poposa's the abbey that if you remember the, did anyone read The Life of Peter Damian? We have it in the library. I translated it years ago. We also have it in Latin and Italian if you want to read the Italian, and French, I think. Peter Damian, as a monk of three years at Fontevillano, before he was prior, elected prior, was called to this abbey, Pomposa, because Peter Damian was already known for his teaching abilities and his knowledge. And he taught the monks at Pomposa patristics and scripture studies. Well, later on, Pomposa aligns itself with this and becomes part of the Romualdin world for a century or so. Now, what I'm saying is,


outside of Pomposa, which is a large abbey and comes in later, all of his foundations, all of them, every single one of them, is the little monk. What's important about that? Why is being relatively small so important? Well, I'm not so certain it was all that important, but that's the way it was. And so, because we're talking small-scale all the time, even Camaldoli, when it first started, only had five monks. And that was a rather large foundation. In the Romualdin world, Peter, a prior Peter, and then another Peter, and then three others. Now, of course, many of these places are going to get rather huge down in history. But in the Romualdin world, they're all rather small. And I make this point that it's important or significant because being small,


living that way, tailoring your monastic expressions because you're on a small scale, cannot help but color what your Romualdin world, or what your world speaks monastically. So it speaks small-scale. It's not so interested in power or land holdings or so many larger foundations have gone that route because that's the way history develops as a house grows. And of course, that will happen here with Camaldoli down the line. But in this time, it doesn't happen. And things were much simpler. The reform, because the houses were small enough, was able to take root quickly and they could hold onto it and live it


probably a lot easier than if we were dealing with huge foundations with many characters and, you know, it just made it a lot easier because there weren't enough of us around. I guess that's my point. It has something to say about the reality of Romualdin spirituality and the authenticity of it. And more than anything, I think it's small scale and because it was small, it became effective. It showed its fire more easily and quickly. And that's what would grab everybody's attention, I guess, this hermit movement that was taking place and it was so authentic. They really were saints. They really were living that way, incredible as it may have seemed.


Another point of the Romualdin world or an expression of its spirituality certainly has to be solitude. I mean, how can you get away from it? That's Romuald's main focus, at least in the beginning. No, for Romuald, it was his focus throughout his life, solitude and giving some validity to living that in a juridically protected way within monasticism. Giovanni Tobacco, I had his name up there last week, if you remember, he's the one who published the first critical edition of The Life of Saint Romuald in Latin, of course, and then in Italian translation. He writes, this is Romuald's central motive, wanting to guarantee the hermitical life's autonomy


through its own discipline, which is consistent with its purpose. Cerucci, Celestino Cerucci, who was a very gifted historian and theoretician of monasticism who lived at Fonte Avalano this century, he's been dead a couple decades, writes about Romuald vis-a-vis solitude with a different slant. He writes about Romuald coming into his own after the experience at Cusa, which I've just talked about, or after living with Marino in the wilds and then moving to Cusa and living that small group existence. He writes, placing the hermitage on the same juridical plane as the Benedictine synobium with a superior and a rule


approved by ecclesiastical authority with its own novices, its own professed, all this is something new for hermits again. So the Romualdian world affects a whole new category on the religious scene. He is doing something new on the monastic scene, that is, he's developing something for solitaries whereby hermits can live alone but together under the protection of a superior and guidance, certainly under the juridical protection of a rule. Tobacco adds, again, we're looking at Cusa, Ravenna, and Venice. It is among these that the formation of the Romualdian hermitical experience occurs, that is, a small group of solitaries,


small, notice, a small group of solitaries bonded together pro privilegio amoris, for the privilege of loving one another and living it authentically. Our book coming out in the fall has this title, The Privilege of Love. No one's going to know what that means until they read the book. Maybe it'll make them buy the book, who knows. Anyway, it seems to me that it's a simple statement of tobacco's that you have a small group of solitaries bonded together in order to do this monastically, in order to do that and to have that indicates the core of what we're talking about in Romualdian spirituality, that is, a small group of solitaries, for the most part, bonded for the privilege of love.


Why solitude? Romualdian spirituality is drawn towards solitude for two main reasons. What would they be? Why would you want to be a hermit? Boy, there better be some answers here. Why do you want to be a hermit? In order to... In order to talk with God, to commune with God, pray, right? And what would the other reason be? This one's a little bit more difficult. Okay, so you have the privilege and the time and the whole setup to let you pray and talk to God all you want and pray those psalms and sing them yourself if you want and no one, it won't bother anyone. What else is going to happen when you're alone? Totally alone. Except for once in a while getting together for a meal or choir. You're alone in your cell. What can you expect is going to happen there psychologically? The inner conflict and inner struggle.


Exactly. And that's the second point. This whole thing of battling with the demons. And you'll find now, of course, in the life of Romuald, it's put in context of battling demons, facing the demons. In fact, you'll find Romuald battling demons a number of times, even as he's dying. To somehow confront evil and challenge evil, the evil within or without, and to, in other words, to live white martyrdom, the white martyrdom of the Egyptian anchorites, to live that in Italy in the 11th century, to give it new flesh and to have that authentic desert monastic experience all over again. And to do it together. You each have your own hermitage, but at least here now


you're in a community. Of course, in the Egyptian deserts there were vast communities of solitaries, not just the ones off in the rocks here and there. It was also an organized Aramidicism. But we're talking about West now. But anyway, Romuald wants to revive that. Peter Damian then writes about this challenging evil. Solitude in the hermitage is peopled with demons. Seeking God in a heightened tension of love is a great adventure. For the privilege of love, a very difficult test is given the hermit. The immediate battle with diabolical powers at the root of evil. Much of that will be just what we know is battling our own demons and fighting those inner battles. It's true that Peter Damian


probably was more concerned with demons than Romuald ever was. Demons, per se. Particularly, if Peter Damian's concern in the life of Romuald was to use, you know, when you write A Life of a Saint, what you do. This is how you do it. You have some cures and you have some demon battles. So, you know, if it's not just filling in the blanks of how to write A Life of a Saint, Peter Damian is accentuating in the life of Romuald certain struggles that took place within that context of the life of Romuald. But regardless of that, the encounter with evil


is something anyone living solitude is going to have to embrace or run from, I suppose. But you're going to have to deal with it one way or another. In the life of Romuald, Romuald battles with the demons in chapters 7, 16, 17, 18, 32, 33, 49. Bingo! That's quite a list for demon battles in one saint's life. We also hear that the monks of before Gaul, let me put it here, asked Romuald to write them a dissertation or a treatise on how to battle the demons. Supposedly, he did write that for them, but we have no record of it. The Pugna Dæmonorum. Dæmonorum. It's lost to history. I can skip that.


Okay, any comments about solitude before I move on to the next aspect? I would say also then that Romualdian spirituality is not just, it's not just coming from a small-scale perspective and not just dealing with solitude, but it's also very apostolic in its thrust. Because you can't, looking at the life of Romuald, looking at all the amazing things these people did, these hermits, did in this century, vis-a-vis apostolic witness, you can't ignore the interplay between action and contemplation right there in the 11th century. Very roots of our life. We have all kinds of these


becoming, of our hermits, becoming bishops and cardinals down through the centuries, but the first couple centuries, it's just amazing what they were called upon to do. And also off helping nuns get founded and being their chaplains and then running hospice here and there, running parishes, God knows, everything, the whole gamut they're doing, as well as founding and living these little hermitages. So they just weren't buried away also. They're also very active. When they're called upon by the church, they immediately acted upon it. I suppose much to their chagrin often enough, but it's part of the reality. Question. Living within a hermitage where brothers together loved one, the individual loving God


and not only believing in yourself, but doing it within the context of other brothers. What role did that communal life play in the individual's love of God and not of the human? Because this propriety of the previous age of Amoris also refers to the love between them and among them. Was that done, that sharing of it in the context of silence or was there... There's an ongoing communal life as well. That was always part of the Romualdian picture as well. So you see, that's all the more reason not to discount the Benedictine aspects of the life. He was a Benedictine. And of course, the rule he's going to bring into his movement is the Benedictine rule. And community life, even for hermits, was a very important issue for Romuald. Even though Romuald himself could go off into the swamp


for seven years and no one would see him. Or three years here and off on another journey or whatever. At least his foundations had to live that community life. Any idea of what it actually comprised though? We do know at Fonte Avalon we have a picture of it. Now when you read... I mean you read Cyprian's absolutely excellent chapter in the book coming up. He'll give you from a liturgical standpoint, and because he's doing that, he has to give you some more. He has to fill in a lot of blanks about the life at Fonte Avalon in the early times. If there is... One of the early English translations of Peter Damian's works by... Mick something. Excuse me, I've got a few hundred things here.


Where are you? I'm not going to see you right off. Phyllis something. It's not Phyllis McGinley either. It's probably not him. Anyway. It's titled Selected Passages. Peter Damian's Selected Readings or Selected Passages came out in England. She does an elaborate look at the life of Fonte Avalon at that time. So there's another, and I'm sure that's where Cyprian got his stuff. There are also other documents if you want to go into other languages and I can give you references. And with Commodely, we also have some idea. Because if you think, if you remember Rudolf, Pirate Rudolf IV,


even though he has a four after his name, he's not that far down the line. We're just talking about a little bit down the line from Romuald actually, just a few generations. What does he give us? He writes his document on their medical life. But it's basically customary, not just a theory, it's also a customary of what they're doing at Commodely at that time. And you get a little glimpses here and there of their community life as well. It'll be later down the line in the 13th, 14th, 15th centuries when you get elaborate, full document customaries of how we live at Commodely at this time. Those are the things I'm going to be translating this coming winter. However, as to how life was lived in these places, at that time we just have a general idea.


Fonte Avalon is the only one where we have some specific, you know, documents to look at. Just a follow-up on that question. I'm curious, was there a formal setting in which conversation took place between the hermits in which they would share their particular battles and also their particular experiences of Loa? Or was it done informally and had a conversation in the context of a group setting? I suspect, I mean, I don't have any authoritative opinion on that. I would think just from reading the history I have and reading the sources and Peter Damian as well, certainly at Fonte Avalon that happened. And I think often enough he was at the center of it. It certainly happened with each monk with his, they all had sort of


a spiritual Abba also within the community or spiritual brother. It happened on that level. Knowing the ways of community, it certainly happened informally. Now, whether there was a formal context, that's the part I can't answer. I would think yes at Fonte Avalon. Well, maybe that wasn't formal either. You know, if they had a formal gathering of something, I suspected it happened at Fonte Avalon. What strikes me is when we did read the document of Rudolf, we touched on that, even though it was fairly strict and quite severe, I can feel from what you said the tempering effect of Rudolf St. Benedict on all of this compared say to the Carthusians


who came just a few years after where there's that real tough, hard, black and white. The consuetudiness. Yes. So already you can feel almost a warmth coming through. Even though it was tough and there's many days of penance, there's a warmth where you don't pick up the same warmth and even community aspect in the Carthusian approach, which is something similar. I mean, it's still hermits living in community, but it's a different approach here. Also, I'm going to touch upon this. We're not going to actually finish this year or this week, but after Apostol, I talk about what do I mean by that this spirituality was built on love and I'm going to talk about various relationships within the Romualdian world. And if you look at some of those,


like if you just look at The Life of the Five Brothers. Have you read that? Yeah? By any chance? Okay. It's one of our two main primary sources. St. Bruno Boniface is writing about this whole mission to Poland and whatnot, which some of the Romualdians went on and got martyred and whatnot. And Romuald, within the context, Romuald's letting this happen and he writes about Romuald. Anyway, here they are, these hermits at not the, not the, not the manhole, at Perdio. Here they are. They've got hermitage there and a monastery there. And what is Bruno talking about during these months before they went? Well, here we're talking about hermits, huh? And he says, oh yes, and Benedict and I stayed up all night talking about this and talking about that. And they're talking about demons and talking about, oh, our hearts burned to be martyrs and whatnot. Well, here are these hermits staying up all night


just to, just to, you know. Now, it's not gossip, but I bet there was some in there. You know, it's just human. You know, they're very human. And they saw friendship. And deep friendship. Well, they fell in love, Benedict and Bruno Boniface. I mean, I don't mean that in a scurrilous way. But they were bonded so strongly. Yeah, I think all, with respect to all this, I'm thinking again about what you mentioned earlier today about the small characteristics. It allows that to happen. Yeah, you said fire. And earlier you said this is what allows this fire out of it. And I think, again, a class of being healthy and this idea of the individual is more able to somehow be manifested somehow. And that is part of the warmth of the fire, the small size of the fire. Not in the founder, although it's very much in the foundation. Do they still have a house in Poland at this site where they were martyred?


Yes. They do? Yes. It's in the other congregation. The Monte Corona have that. The commodities in Poland are all Monte Corona. And they're having their, is it the millennial? They're getting ready for the millennial celebration and our people are going there for it, to join them for it. Our Italian people. They're going to have a great big hoopah. The building is actually the same one? Well, they built on it. I don't know the answer. I mean, I don't know how much of the original foundations they still have. But they have long-standing hermitages. You mean where they are? Yeah, I gave you one. All those little dots are, those are all foundations. And there's a map. I gave you a map page and it's on both sides. Sort of an atlas


with little flick marks. And each one of those is a foundation. Look at Italy. Parts of Italy get just black because the marks all fuse together. You know, I really don't need to say anything more about the apostolic. It's there and they did it and it's also part of their life. Actually, I can finish this time because the last point is of their spirituality that I want to make is that it's built on love. That this is extremely important. Pro privilegio amoris. To our spirituality, even now, we're recovering that. We're not just recovering the whole elaboration


of what the threefold good is for the commodities communion, but also this. And that's why Emanuele gave me a big hug when he heard what I was going to title the book. He said, it's perfect. It's perfect because that's where we're going as a congregation. We're going back to this and back to the threefold elaboration of the threefold good. Anyway, it's so important how this early movement was built on love. That the relationships between, right from the beginning, between Romuald and that old Marino, that old hick out in the forest who became his spiritual master until the tables turned just a few years down the road. The relationship, now you have to read the primary sources in order to get these relationships. You have to read the life of Romuald and you have to read the five brothers. Who was not only Romualdian,


a disciple of Romuald, but also actually as we find in the primary sources, was planning to, what is the word? When you, yeah, okay, abdicate. He was planning to abdicate in favor of someone else in the family and become a monk with Romuald. Their relationship, extremely important to how all of this fleshed out because, well, let's face it, Otto had a lot of money, a lot of power. Romuald and Benedict also. Now there's more than one Benedict. I'm talking about the Benedict who went off to Poland. But not only Benedict, the other Benedict, too, and Romuald had a strong relationship of love. Benedict in Gradinico,


Benedict in Bruno Boniface, and I was just mentioning that before. And that was through Romuald. Romuald encouraged that relationship, that bond of love. There are others. I list them in the article. I go through them in the article. And you find not just, remember also the life of Romuald. Otto III used to hunt, find out where Romuald was camping out that night. And here's the emperor would keep Romuald awake all night, and they'd have all-nighters. Just like later on, Bruno Boniface and Benedict, just a little bit down the road, are having their all-nighters. He kept Romuald up all night, talking about this kind of thing. The monastic life,


solitude, the mission to the east, evangelization, the whole thing. But not only in that group, but also Soltiero di Mana. If you read the writings of Peter David, and there are volumes of them, but there are certain monastic ones within that corpus. And they're all within the context of being a letter to this monk, or a letter to this community, or whatever. And you get a whole monastic treatise on whatever, as that letter. Anyway, within those monastic writings, you get an incredible insight, or a view into, in Fonte of Mana and his group, the incredible relationships that were going on. Pro privilegio, of course. The relationship between Peter Damian and Dominic Loricato. Loricato is one of our infamous saints


who just beat himself bloody because of a sin that his father committed, wore chains, whipped himself bloody. He died a young man. Peter Damian couldn't believe, Peter Damian was penitential, and he couldn't believe what this Loricato went through. Anyway, P.D. and Loricato would have their all-nighters. You find that in the, they just stayed up all night talking about the grace of penance, or how can we better live this life here at Fonte of Mana, that type of thing. Later on, P.D. made Loricato a prior lawyer at Fontale. And that's where he died. Not too far from Fonte of Mana. You remember this tobacco that I had on the board? In one of his articles, and it must be the article


Pro Privilegium Amoris. He has the Latin, or the accusative there, I think. Pro Privilegium. He writes about the relationship between P.D. and Loricato. Remember now, Loricato is the one who wore all the chains. Tobacco's pun. In Italian, I have to read the first part in Italian. La perfezione del vincolo. Vincolo can mean a bond. A bond. It also can mean chains. And in this article, he has a very funny pun about their relationship. The perfection of bonding, or of the chains between these two hermits. And then he goes on and on about compunction of heart and how incredibly powerful it was for the life of Fonte Avalana. Peter Damian and Hildebrand


were like that in the work of church reform. Hildebrand later became Gregory VII, just after Peter Damian died, actually. Peter Damian would have loved to have seen Hildebrand become Pope, but he died before it happened. Peter Damian, you get a lot of letters Peter Damian's writing to Abbot Desiderius of Monte Cassino. And their relationship, and then he visited Desiderius a few times at Monte Cassino. Their relationship became very strong and built a very loving relationship, mutual esteem, and also reform work that the two of them were doing. Also, in a certain sense, Peter Damian and Empress Agnes. Also, we have letters to her and whatnot. There was very touching correspondence between the two. It sounds like Aylred on spirituality.


Yeah, right, right. I published an article in Studia Monastica on Aylred and his pastoral spirituality, but my main point within it all was all the links he had going in community for pastoral reasons and how he inculcated friendship within the context of monasticism. Yeah, exactly. Oh, yeah. He was Romualdian even if he didn't know it. Wasn't he a Cistercian? Yes. But in spirit. Okay. Okay. Let's see. If I need to get into this. Okay. One last point. The relationships at Fonte Altamana


and in the Romualdian circle are very significant, the personal relationships, for how intense they are. I mean, these all-nighters are not just one-time events. And how they write of these relationships in the primary sources centers on how intense they were and why were they intense. The intensity became because they were all so much in love. They were so burning with the love of God and the great thing that they were accomplishing and doing and setting up as well as the love for one another within that bond because they were all going for the same goals. It was so strong and intense that it became something that had to be shared and that sharing came from the intensity. So usually when I talk about in summation,


when I talk about Romualdian spirituality, I say that Romualdian spirituality is a spirituality that is built on a small scale, centered on the word of God in solitude, but also characterized by an intense love of God and the need to share that with the brethren. Okay, let's cut there then. And then next week, we'll do Peter Damian in a closer look at just him and his writings and how he influenced the church and monasticism.