They are the hermitages called :
San Leonardo al Lago ("at the lake"),
S. Lucia (and S. Antonio) at Rosia,
S. Maria di Montespecchio (Saint Mary at Montespecchio),
S. Salvatore di Lecceto (the Holy Saviour at Lecceto)
and S. Agostino di Monticiano (Saint Augustine at Monticiano).
None of these places was founded by the Order of St Augustine. They all began well before the Order of Saint Augustine was established by the Grand Union in 1256.
Saint Leonardo al Lago is approximately 10 kilometres (13 miles) from Siena (which for many centuries had an Augustinian convento) and one kilometre through the forest from Lecceto.
It is situated on a hill dominating a valley. The lake (in Italian, lago) in the valley was drained towards the end of the Middle Ages.
The date of the beginning of this hermitage (eremo in Italian) is uncertain. Records indicated that it already existed in 1112. It probably began as a cave-chapel as early as 800 AD. It appears that the existence of the cave was historically responsible for the foundation of the subsequent eremo (hermitage).
There still exist the original copy of twelve papal bulls issued to the hermitage of San Leonardo al Lago written between 1144 and 1254, sixteen issued to the nearby hermitage of Lecceto between 1254 and 1741, and four between 1244 and 1256 pertaining to the Tuscan hermits generally.
The Prussian State Library in Berlin purchased them in 1866 from an Italian collector.
In the year 1112 San Leonardo al Lago contained two men Alberto (Albert) and Gerardino (Gerard).
To replace the orignal cave-chapel, the first church there was founded by a priest with the name Benedict. Not much is known of this priest. It can be assumed that he came from one of the Benedictine monasteries somewhere in Tuscany.
About the years 1120-1130 important donations of rights and lands from the local lords, the Ardengheschi, combined substantial holdings in the surrounding forest to support the hermits financially.
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