FARFA: A Benedictine abbey situated on the river Farfa, about half-way between Rome and Reate. It was established about the middle of the sixth century by Laurentius, bishop of Spoleto. Destroyed by the Lombards, it was restored by the priest Thomas of Maurienna in 681 and soon became one of the most famous monasteries of the Middle Ages. At the beginning of the tenth century, after a siege of seven years, it was destroyed by the Saracens. After lying desolate and deserted for forty-eight years it was restored by Hugo of Burgundy about 950, and later became notorious for the licentiousness and dissipation of its monks. However, toward the end of the tenth century the reform of Cluny was introduced at Farfa, and the monastery then gradually resumed its former importance. To this period belongs the Chronicon Farfense, written between 1105 and 1119 by Gregory of Catina, the librarian of the monastery. From the close of the fourteenth century the monastery was held in commendam by cardinals, and in 1842 Gregory XVI. annexed it to the cardinal-bishopric of Sabina.