|what the monastery looked like in 1744|
On these hot August days one of the best places to find a cool breeze is in the wooded hills of Monte Fogliano overlooking Vetralla. The road winds up through the shadowy woods where mushrooms and wild boar can be sighted.
Along the roadside a series white ceramic stations of the cross mark the way before the road turns in narrow cypress lined drive . Here is the majestic Passionist monastery founded by St. Paul of the Cross in 1744.
The Passionists' priorities included good views and prime real estate for an almost identical Passionist monastery can be found on an almost identical hill on the Monte Argentario peninsula, less than 100 kilometres away in Tuscany.
|sculpture of Newman's conversion by Barbieri|
In this lush Italian landscape and this historic Italian monastery visitors are quite surprised to find connections with England ..and the opera world.
|the sculpture of Newman and Barbieri|
On the left hand side of the monastery chapel is a double statue honoring Blessed Domenico Barbieri (1792-1849 ) and Cardinal John Henry Newman. Father Barbieri was a missionary in England where he founded four Passionist houses and was responsible for the conversion of John Henry Newman. When Newman became a Cardinal he was dedicated to Catholic education, as the many university Newman Clubs attest.
In the early years of the 1900s, a brother of popular Italian tenor, Beniamino Gigli, was a priest here. Thanks to this connection electricity was brought up the mountain for the monastery, as the plaque located just above the “cabina elettrica” reminds visitors.
|the monastery today is a place for retreats|
|altar of St. Paul of the Cross|
Read about the Wedding of the Trees which takes place each year on May 8th in a clearing nearby. Have you been to this festival?