The use of holy water in the earliest days of the Christian Era is attested by documents of only comparatively late date. Juliani", II, iii, xxv, xxvi; "Liber de Passione S. This belief spread from East to West; and scarcely had baptism been administered, when the people would crown around with all sorts of vessels and take away the water, some keeping it carefully in their homes whilst others watered their fields, vineyards, and gardens with it ("Ordo rom. Some was permanently retained at the entrance to Christian churches where a clerk sprinkled the faithful as they came in and, for this reason, was called hydrokometes or "introducer by water", an appellation that appears in the superscription of a letter of Synesius in which allusion is made to "lustral water placed in the vestibule of the temple".
The "Apostolic Constitutions", the redaction of which goes back to about the year 400, attribute to the Apostle St. The letter written under the name of Pope Alexander I , who lived in the second century, is apocryphal and of more recent times; hence the first historical testimony does not go back beyond the fifth century. 82) tells of a recluse named Eusitius who lived in the sixth century and possessed the power of curing quartan fever by giving its victims to drink of water that he had blessed ; we might mention many other instances treasured up by this same Gregory ("De Miraculis S. This water was perhaps blessed in proportion as it was needed, and the custom of the Church may have varied on this point.
The construction of the Monastery of St Peter in 1630 helped established a permanent monastic order.
In an agricultural community built largely on the production of grain, oil, vegetables, wine and cotton, the monastery helped drive the economy through the introduction of science and religion.
A severe famine due to poor agricultural conditions caused a mass migration of Craco’s population, about 1,300 inhabitants, to North America between the years 18.
Since Craco was built on a hill, composed of clay-rich soil of various types of red, green and dark grey clay, with different levels of drainage the terrain was highly unstable.
The settlement occupies a rock formation above the surrounding hills with its architecture neatly built into the landscape.
As, in many cases, the water used for the Sacrament of Baptism was flowing water, sea or river water, it could not receive the same blessing as that contained in the baptisteries. It is quite possible that, according to canon 65 of the Council of Constantinople held in 691, this rite was established for the purpose of definitively supplanting the pagan feast of the new moon and causing it to pass into oblivion.
In 1179, Roberto di Pietrapertos became the ruler of Craco and in 1276 a university was established.
It was during this period, that the landmark Castle Tower was built under the direction of Attendolo Sforza, and in 1293 under Federico II, it became a prison.
On this particular point the early liturgy is obscure, but two recent discoveries are of very decided interest. In the West Dom Martène declares that nothing was found prior to the ninth century concerning the blessing and aspersion of water that takes place every Sunday at Mass. Hincmar of Reims gave directions as follows: "Every Sunday, before the celebration of Mass, the priest shall bless water in his church, and, for this holy purpose, he shall use a clean and suitable vessel. The rule of having water blessed for the aspersion at Mass on Sunday was thenceforth generally followed, but the exact time set by Leo IV and Hincmar was not everywhere observed.
The Pontifical of Scrapion of Thumis, a fourth-century bishop, and likewise the "testamentum Domini", a Syriac composition dating from the fifth to the sixth century, contain a blessing of oil and water during Mass. xxx) records that at Tiberias a man named Joseph poured water on a madman, having first made the sign of the cross and pronounced these words over the water: "In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, crucified, depart from this unhappy one, thou infernal spirit, and let him be healed! At that time Pope Leo IV ordered that each priest bless water every Sunday in his own church and sprinkle the people with it: "Omni die Dominico, ante missam, aquam benedictam facite, unde populus et loca fidelium aspergantur" (P. The people, when entering the church, are to be sprinkled with this water, and those who so desire may carry some away in clean vessels so as to sprinkle their houses, fields, vineyards, and cattle, and the provender with which these last are fed, as also to throw over their own food" ("Capitula synodalia", cap. At Tours, the blessing took place on Saturday before Vespers ; at Cambrai and at Aras, it was to be given without ceremony in the sacristy before the recitation of the hour of Prime ; at Albi, in the fifteenth century, the ceremony was conducted in the sacristy before Terce ; and at Soissons, on the highest of the sanctuary steps, before Terce ; whereas at Laon and Senlis, in the fourteenth century, it took place in the choir before the hour of Terce.