Monks in procession of prayer

Subasio and legends – Ghost monks

Umbria is a mystical land, full of tradition and also of legends. Many stories, passed down orally, have origins that are lost in the memory and, with evanescent borders remain today only in the memories of our grandparents. What I want to propose is a ghost story, of those that are told in winter in the dark in front of a fire. This one took place in a site not well specified near Assisi.

I read it in a small book about the mysteries of Umbria:

Ghosts don’t always perpetuate, after dead, the activities held in their living. Indeed, there are cases in which the spirits of the dead are forced to wander and to fulfill the tasks they took away during the earthly life. For what reason? Atone for their sins.

Ghosts popular legends

It is said that, many years ago, there was a monastery, now destroyed, in an unspecified area of the Umbrian hills behind Assisi.
The locals were very devout, as only the Umbrian countryside can be. And for every occasion organized a procession. Not only. Every opportunity was good to ask the friars to organize novenas and prayer vigils. Sometimes in order to stop the rain, to propitiate it, or just to thank God for the good harvest.
The monks, however, did not like all those demonstrations of faith. Quite the contrary “But why we have to go out at night with the cold?” They said to each other. “But it’s not possible! There are already masses and vespers, why organize another prayer vigil? “, they grumbled without restraint as they prepared to satisfy the faithful.
Monks took part reluctantly and, of course, they did so without faith. On The Contrary. While farmers prayed and asked God’s help, the monks were thinking of something else. It appears that they were living in an absolutely unscrupulous, far from the rules of the Church. The sins more frequent, according to well informed, were obviously those about sex.
Today it remains only some ruins of that monastery. Maybe for an epidemic, or to “divine intervention”, all the religious of the monastery died within a short time. The monastery was destroyed.
Few months later, in the countryside of the area, from time to time, it happened to see distant figures walking in a row with lighted torches. “It also feels pray and sing …”, told the witnesses.
And then somebody remembered the story of the old monastery. At that point people understood: those black shadows were the spirits of the monks who proceeded in a row. Forced from the dead to fulfill precisely those rites that hated while alive.
It is said that also today you can see on the hills strange processions of hooded figures with torches in hand. Candles lit to invoke God’s forgiveness for the community that for centuries it was stained with many sins. (Mysterious Umbria – Lucia Pippi, Cristiano Roscini)

Ghost monks in procession - Subasio legends

It would be interesting to investigate this popular legend and maybe find out where this mysterious place is. There really is somewhere in Monte Subasio or in nearby hills? Perhaps this article will contribute to research, meanwhile, you have an other fearful story to tell!

January 24th, 2015

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