[St. Pachomius Library]


Count Wilfrid II of Barcelona founded c. 880 a Benedictine monastery dedicated to the Virgin Mary in Ripoll (or Rivapolli), Catalonia. He gave the monks books and the raw materials (precious metals and jewels) to make liturgical vessels. In the X Century, Ripoll expanded, adding a scriptorium and a mill to its structures, and the monks began to translate Arabic works into Latin. Monks from Ripoll founded a daughterhouse at Montserrat. In 951, Agapetus II removed the monastery from the rule of bishops and gave it papal protection. The monastery reached the height of its fame under Abbot Oliva (1008- 1046) , who encouraged scholarship, built a new church, and persuaded Sergius IV to place the monastery under papal jurisdiction. The XII-Century Visitatio sepulchri, a complex mystery play about the resurrection, may have been written at Ripoll, which began to decline in the latter half of that century because of quarrels between the monks and the monastery's patron, Bernard II of Besalý. Bernard made the monastery a dependency of St-Victor in Paris. Having suffered from bad abbots and the effects of wars, Ripoll joined in the XVI Century a congregation of 30 Benedictine monasteries. During the Carlist wars of the XIX Century, the monastery was destroyed, and any manuscript not sent to Paris or Barcelona was burned.

Karen Rae Keck

Under construction --- far from complete! Read with caution.


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