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Photographer's Note

The history of Follina begins by a group of Benedictine monks from, in the years prior to the eleventh century, by St. Fermo Maggiore Verona. In order to fit as a basis of support in the way of passage of the Romei, the northern pilgrims who, along the way once traced by the Roman troops, came down to the tomb of Christ, the graves of the martyrs of Rome or the newfound tomb of St. Major James of Compostella. These were housed and cared for in a Hospitium near the monastery following the mandatory provisions of charity given by St. Benedict six centuries before.
The coming of these early monks could also be motivated by their inclusion in Lombard stationing of people in our land, with the intention of evangelization or to treat an expression of Marian piety, easily, already in place.
To these succeeded, from 1146 to 1448, the Cistercian monks, too 'they sons and heirs of the spirit of St. Benedict, but speakers of that renewal born in diramatosi Citeaux and especially Clairvaux for the spiritual energy of its founder Abbot St. Bernard, He loves singer of the Virgin Mary. They probably called from Guelph and powerful noblewoman Sofia da Camino (first act of donation notified in 1170), to reclaim the valley which occupied an intermediate position in its vast holdings, for about three centuries, they became Santa Maria in Sanavalle (founded 1146, May 29) a living center of spiritual life devoted to meditation Humanity of Christ and song devoted to Our Lady; well drained and tilled the valley, started various craft activities, kilns, mills to operate the mills and fullers, started the wool industry and, above all, built, artfully simple and sparse, the monastery that still remains between Cistercian most representative works of the thought of St. Bernard and among the best preserved in Italy. Following the suppression of the Order (1439) by the Serenissima, probably because of his ties with the Abbey French mother, resulting, for over a century, the long and difficult period of abbots (bishops or cardinals who administered from outside and we enjoyed incomes), until another comes monastic order, the Camaldolesi (1572-1771), also of the Benedictine rule, children of St. Romuald. They restore the monastic life, enliven and direct the pilgrimage of the nations neighboring: valleys of Belluno, dell'Alpago, Friuli to secular Madonna of the Sanctuary. After the suppression of the Camaldolesi (1771), commissioned by the Serenissima still shortly before his end, the nineteenth century, because of the systematic suppression of the religious centers that followed the devastating raids Napoleonic brings the abbey to a state of total decay. the arches of the cloister are inhabited walled and private. Then the wounds of the Great War 1915-1918; until it intervenes another religious community: the Servants of Mary, (20 January 1915).
They work hard to return to the abbey its original beauty: the protagonists, the prior of the Servants and first pastor of Follina, between Anacleto M. Milani and Eng. F. Forlati, director of restoration.

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Additional Photos by Silvio Sorcini (Silvio1953) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 19744 W: 130 N: 41839] (220759)
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