An outline about the monastery of “St. Michael the Archangel”.
The Benedictine monastery of St. Michael the Archangel probably stood a few kilometres from the two Petralie, in the locality called (in the local dialect) San Miceli. Now it is possible to see the ruins (remains of walls and clay fragments) about which many legends have flourished over time.
A diploma of 1131 informs us that on 13th February of that year, King Roger II gave the church of St. Michael the Archangel of Petralia (which had been built by Rudolph of Belbaco) to Simeon, who was the Abbot of Holy Trinity in La Cava Salerno. From there, the first monks came and inhabited the monastery. This document is the Roger’s eldest Latin diploma and it is extremely important. It describes situations and places of the Madonie area of that time with a lot of details. The diploma has a golden seal that shows Roger’s picture and his signature in Greek.
The donation, which included land, Christians and Saracens serves, attests the influence of the abbey of Cava in Sicily, before the foundation of the Monreale’s one. It is part of the Norman kings’ political conduct, who always maintained a strict control on religious institutions. Roger II then proceeded to the unification of southern Italy, almost leaving out of consideration the Pope. On 25th December 1130 he was crowned King of Sicily by a representative of the anti-Pope Anacleto II, who was also supported by Simeone. The reconciliation of Roger with the Pope happened on 6th May 1149. Pope Eugenius III confirmed the dependency of St. Michael and St. Peter of Petralia from the abbey of Cava. The origin of the latter church is unknown, but it was probably absorbed by S. Michael very soon, which became a real monastic foundation, as it was confirmed by Alexander III on 30th January 1169.
View and save the Map of the Geological site “San Miceli”
Association Quota Mille
Telefono 389 063 5221
Tel: 3494967912 -3389208845
Italian Alpine Club (C.A.I.)
Section of Petralia Sottana
President Mario Vaccarella