The presence of the
monastic community dates back to Pope Gregory I,
also known as the Great (590-604).
Pope Gregory II
established a stable Benedictine community, which is
still present here today.
In 936 Odon of
Cluny reformed it: the abbot took the name of “abbas
et rector Sancti Pauli”.
Soana is the most illustrious monk among them, who,
after having worked for the renewal of the Basilica
and the life of its monastery, was elected Pope and
took the name of Gregory VII (1073-1085). As Pope he
initiated the reform of the Church, the so-called
The Abbey became
the owner of a huge feudal patrimony.
From then on this
complex passed through periods of great splendor but
also dark ones as well, until the seizure of its
goods in 1870. Nevertheless the monks, even at that
time, did not abandon their charge by the tomb of
Even before the
beginning of the 20th century, the monastic activity
retrieved its vigor in a particular way by
administering the Sacrament of Penance and promoting
It was here on
January 25, 1959 that Pope John XXIII announced the
convocation of the Second Vatican Council.
Library contains more than 10,000 volumes which date
back from between the 15th to the 17th century (including
Maurist and Bollandist editions), while the modern
one contains more than 100,000 books.