After the Napoleonic era, the Lecceto monastery (eremo) was abandoned.
It was unoccupied for decades, and eventually was taken over by the Diocese of Siena as an occasional seminary residence during the summer holidays.
From 1952 onwards, the building was unused to 1970, and the monastery was largely deserted and ungarded. From then on, the building fell into ruin, victim of vandalism and neglect. By 1968, the roof had fallen in, the wood had rotted, the insides were burned in several places, chickens and pigs occupied the ground floor.
No longer needing the building but wanting it in good hands, the Archbishop of Siena, Mons. Mario Castellano O.P., offered it back to the Augustinian Order, and an agreement was reached for its use by the Augustinian contemplative nuns who were then in Siena.
With support of the civic and provincial authorities and various friends of Lecceto, the monastery was restored to a habitable condition.
The work was in the charge of the archbishop's administrative delegate, Mons. Orlando Donati, who personally supervised the restoration and modernization of the west range of the monastery, and the badly-needed redecoration of the interior of the church.
And then on 30th December 1972, after an Augustinian absence of 162 years, a community of enclosed Augustinian nuns took possession of the monastery, transferring there from their former residence in Via Sperandie in Siena.
They still occupy the building, and have returned it to its initial purpose of being a place of worship, contemplation and the promotion of the Christian Faith.
Guest accommodation is now available so that visitors and persons of prayer may stay in a portion of this ancient and holy place of peace.
(Continued on the next page.)
To view the photo gallery of Lecceto on Augnet select Italy: Lecceto after you click here.
Photos (at right).
Picture 1: An Augustinian contemplative nun at Lecceto.
Picture 2: The tower of the church at Lecceto.
Picture 3: The square tower of the Augustinian monastery of Lecceto.
The Hermitage and Monastery of the Holy Saviour. A brief history of Lecceto in English.
A Brief history of the Hermitage of Lecceto, written by Gianni Cardinale in 30 Days (December 2004).