The monastery of St. Nazario cradle of the Congregation of Saint Nilo, is withoutdoubt, the most important among all the Italian-Greek monasteries built interritory of Cilento. In the « Life of S.Nilo junior », masterpiecehagiography of Calabria, we learn that at that monastery went Nicholas Rossano around the 940 to clothe the monastic habit.
The origin of this cenoby, which for economy of labor we cannotrebuild here, was incorrectly attributed by Antonini andsome authors most recently to monks of the monastery of St. Mercury of Roccagloriosa, while there is evidence that it dates back to ascetics coming from Mercurius of the confines of Calabria and Basilicata, home, in the tenth century, of a thriving Italian-Greek monastery.
This explains the presence in S. Nazario ofyoung patrician Rossano who, for having taken refuge in a monasteryeparchy, had provoked the protests of his wife and relativesas well as the intervention of the Byzantine strategist. He threatened that« He would cut the hand » to anyone.To avoid complications in the future S.Nilo left towards « aanother domain in the region of the Princes' Lombards of Salerno.
The monastery of St. Nazario was not far from Celle di Bulgheria ,.Slavic colony, from which Robert Guiscard drew many mercenaries,or from the monastery of Cuccaro. Farther away the monastery of Rofrano (kilometers.12), where tradition wants that St. Nilus there had founded a church de-cated to the Virgin, later called Grottaferrata.Near the monastery, beyond the « river of the Abbey, » is the village.
We know not so much about the Abbey and the village until the earlyXIV century, until that secure documents state that the place was under the spiritual jurisdiction of the bishop of Capaccio.The information we have does not provide us secure items aroundthe rite practiced in the church of the monastery, we know for certain that theforfeiture of Italo-Greek monasteries also continued under the Angevin and Aragon rule, especially with the spread of the 'institution of the « commenda ». In '400, however, greek-rite priests officiated in Ceraso and Cuccaro.In 1463 the king Ferrante gave S. Nazario to his son in-law Antonio Piccolomini,Duke of Amalfi, then excluded from the donation that he made to G. Battista Saracino.
It turns out that in 1508 Berlingieri Carrafa sold to James Geoffrey of Cuccaro the jurisdiction of civil cases of local farmhousesS. Nazario and Eremiti. In the report of doctor Troise, compiled in Cuccaro,on property belonging to the Duke of Monteleone, it reads that the Duke had done Eremiti of St. Nazario a sub-feud, then sold to Giovanni Alessandro Loffredo.
The house, however, was among those sold to D. James Zattara by DukeMonteleone, who, as a patron of the abbey had the right and the powerto appoint abbot and rector, as well as having all the other rights relating to same « patronato ».Since Pius IV, with bubble of 1564 moved St. Nazario and Eremiti belowthe jurisdiction of the Chapter of St. Peter's in Rome, we should expect thatthe abbey, cradle of the Congregation nilana, had probably a different role.
Antonini writes that dropping from S. Mauro la Bruca « toward Tramontanadown place on a little river, is the hamlet of S. Nazario. It has goodland for various uses, and in the winter there are a lot of thrushes,and blackbirds that fed among those lands, are of a very sweet taste,and strangely fat.»
The same author, after having focused onfoundation of the village, which he attributed to the abbot of Montecassino Richerioand he has hinted at some monk (Nantaro) that would then donatedthe cell he built to aforesaid abbot, lingers on arrival there of Nile from Rossano. He concludes affirming the unfounded assumption that attributethe foundation of the village to a later arrival of St. Nile in place,and it accepts the validity of the opinion of Lubin that assignment insteadfoundation for the followers of St. Basil.
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