Thumbnail image for IMGP1279.JPGFor a number of years now, when I am in Rome, I stay at the Benedictine Abbey of Sant’Anselmo on the Aventine Hill. The Benedictine monks have been on the Aventine since property was purchased from Pope Leo XIII in the late 19th century. Technically, Sant’Anselmo is not a functioning abbey as other abbeys with a stable monastic community but it’s a house of studies for monks and others.  There is an order for the day of prayer, Mass, study, and work but one does not become a monk of Sant’Anselmo as you would become a monk of Saint Vincent’s. At the Anselmo you’ll find a “permanent” faculty and staff, and a group of monks who work in the Abbot Primate’s offices and some monks who work at other universities or at the Vatican, but no monk vows stability to Sant’Anselmo.

Sant’Anselmo serves as the home of several entities: the Abbot Primate (Abbot Notker Wolf), the Pontifical Liturgical Institute, the Mabillion Institute, and the College of the Theology and Philosophy.
On Ash Wednesday the pope begins the season of Lent by starting with prayer at Sant’Anselmo before making a procession with the Benedictines and Dominicans to the nearby Santa Sabina for the Sacrifice of the Mass.

Two videos will give you sense of the Anslemo: video 1 and video 2. Sorry, the first one is in Italian but the images are good and it gives a good walking tour of the house, while the second gives a sense of other places on the Aventine but video footage includes the Anselmo.