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Santa Maria d'Arabona, Abbey of


Former cistercian monastery near Chieti, in Abruzzi, Italy. Founded on the spot where a temple dedicated to the goddess Orbona had once stood, this Cistercian abbey was a daughterhouse of the Abbey of tre fontane near Rome, whose monks had originally come from clairvaux. It was founded in 1208 by St. Aldemaro, who was its first abbot. In 1257 Pope Alexander III added the monastery of Santo Stefano to its possessions, and in a short time it achieved great splendor. However, by 1330 it showed signs of decline. In 1587 Pope Sixtus V gave it in commendation to the Franciscans of the Institute of Saint Bonaventure in Rome, who held it until 1818. The ancient monastery, now private property, contains an interesting chapter room. The abbey church of Santa Maria d'Arabona was restored in 1951.

Bibliography: v. bindi, Monumenti storici ed artistici degli Abruzzi (Naples 1889). l. h. cottineau, Répertoire topobibliographique des abbayes et prieurés, 2 v. (Mâcon 193539) 2:239596. p. toesca, Il Trecento (Turin 1951) 691.

[m. b. morris]

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