The Benedictines and Malta: 1363–1371
The attempt by a Sicilian widow to implant the Benedictines of Catania on her Maltese estates was therefore of some historical significance, and the controversy it provoked generated a small collection of documents which have survived in the archives of the monks at Catania. The Benedictines eventually retained their Maltese estates after an appeal to the Roman curia, though the Fabbrica reopened the case through a new appeal in 1721. In an unpublished work written at the beginning of the seventeenth century the Maltese Jesuit Girolamo Manduca advanced the incorrect claim that the Benedictines had held lands in Malta before Ysolda de Landolina's donation. The monks' proctors then sailed to Malta and took possession of Ysolda's Maltese estates by an act of 7 May 1365 which listed the properties involved. The Benedictine monks never did set up a house on Malta, having acquired estates on the island without the trouble of founding a community there.