The Abbatial Fortress of Subiaco was donated by the Benedictine monks to the population of the Lazio town. The deed of donation was officially signed this morning in the presence of the Minister of Culture Gennaro Sangiuliano, the Minister of Tourism Daniela Santanché and the Minister of Agriculture, Food Sovereignty and Forestry, Francesco Lollobrigida. A donation which saw as signatories the Abbot Ordinary Don Mauro Meacci, who introduced the ceremony, and the mayor of the city of Subiaco, Domenico Petrini. The Rocca Abbaziale, also known as Rocca dei Borgia, represents one of the identifying places of the City of Subiaco. The monumental complex was erected by the will of the Abbot John V around the 11th century, as a defense of the huge heritage that the Abbey of Santa Scolastica held in the area and therefore it is the emblem of that indissoluble millennial link between city life and the presence Benedictine on which the very essence of the city is based.
With the establishment desired by Pope Callistus III of the Commandery of Subiaco, the Rocca became the residence of cardinals or prelates of pontifical nomination; the first commendatory was the Spanish cardinal Juan de Torquemada, uncle of the infamous Inquisitor. From 1471-1472 it had as Commendatory Abbot Rodrigo Borgia, the future Pope Alexander VI, who chose to stay in the structure, thus allowing the city to boast of the birthplace of his daughter, Lucrezia Borgia, a significant figure of the Italian Renaissance.
“I express my heartfelt thanks to Abbot His Excellency Meacci, a person with whom, I have discovered, many ideals on being Christian unite me”, said Minister Sangiuliano, thanking “Francesco Lollobrigida who made me discover this place so important and fundamental not only for Italian but European culture. Christian thought radiated here in past centuries, which is also Italian thought. If the great Greek and Latin culture, if Roman law, if the philosophy of antiquity to the elaboration and speculation of our days, we owe it to the work of the Benedictines”. And he added: “Italian national identity is also a religious identity and with my Ministry of Culture, in compliance with the prerogatives of the State, culture is once again becoming religious culture too. Let them put it in their heads. If we have we had this great legacy from our ancestors, which were Humanism and the Renaissance, we owe it precisely to places like this, to the work of the Benedictine monks who fermented that cultural humus where Humanism and the Renaissance were then born “.
Sangiuliano recalled the reflections of “three great writers who belong to the identity and national culture, Leopardi, Benedetto Croce and Alessandro Manzoni. Leopardi – underlined the minister – in the song ‘All’Italia’ makes us understand how much Italy is above all the its places. Here there is total unity between the notion of homeland – and I say this as a patriot – and the notion of the places of the homeland. Benedetto Croce, who was a non-believer, a layman and a liberal, writes in a surprising essay for the time, ‘Why can’t we not call ourselves Christians’. Here this essay teaches us how much the Italian identity owes respect to the Christian identity, how much even those who proclaim themselves non-believers are intrinsically Christian in their thinking and in its actions and how much the morality of the state owes respect to Christian morality, because morality, even that which we find in our republican constitution, is the fruit of Christian thought”.
“And then Manzoni who converted on 2 April 1810 and developed the notion of Christian optimism and that is the ability to build, to plan the future, as is done here today”, added Sangiuliano, warning that “we must also look ahead And the British philosopher Roger Scruton is right when he says that we must reject the decadence of Western civilization, we must react and be resilient to the decadence of Western civilization with a recovery of sacredness. If we recover the sacredness of life and of our actions, we we respond to the decadence of Western civilization.Today we symbolize with our presence here a very important element, namely the fact that Italy is a super cultural power and that through the recovery of our architectural and artistic assets and the revitalization of our museum beauties that we have, we can also carry out an economic operation for the benefit of the country.It is not true that with culture no let’s have lunch. We eat and also well “, he concluded.
“Monasteries can be simple or majestic constructions, but what do they represent? They represent our identity, our pride of belonging, our Christian culture and we must be able to preserve it and transfer this to those who come after us, because our roots they are fundamental to carry forward what we are and which we must never forget. That’s why when I received this invitation I decided that I wanted to be there at any cost”, added Minister Santanché. While Lollobrigida recalled that “Giorgia Meloni, in the first speech she made as president of the council, said that we are heirs of the Benedictine work, of the high cultural appeal that the Benedictine monks transmit, of the ability to be a firm anchor to our values , to our traditions. ‘Donate to preserve’ is the phrase that represents today and that is to understand that in history when you have awareness, you can also invest in a development model, in ideas that can bring even buildings back to life which decay, due to lack of strategy over time”.