The Abbazia di Santa Maria di Pulsano is a Catholic sanctuary on Mount Gargano, Italy, Monte Sant’Angelo, Foggia.
The abbey was built in 591 on the ruins of an ancient pagan temple devoted to Calchas, son of Thestor. He was an Argive seer, with a gift for interpreting the flight of birds, gift he received of Apollo.
In 1129 John of Matera (San Giovanni da Matera) and his Congregazione Pulsanese restored the monastic complex.
John was born in Matera and lived at Monte Vergine under William of Vercelli. He made many enemies by his upright life and was eventually imprisoned. He was rescued from prison by Grimoald, Prince of Bari, who ordered him to give an account of his theology to prove his orthodoxy. He preached under Grimoald in Bari. His alternate name comes from his foundation of the monastery of Saint Mary of Pulsano, of which he was the first abbot. He died in 1139 at Pulsano of natural causes. He was buried in a cave in his abbey. In 1830 his relics were translated to Matera Cathedral, where they remain. [Wikipedia]
The abbey is surrounded by several hermitages, used as a dwelling. To access these hermits monks used ropes or ladders.
Gargano promontory is a wonderful nature reserve in the north of Puglia.
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