The Abbey of Fleury was a religious centre from pre-Christian times.
In the crypt of the abbey were the remains of Saint Benedict, who was venerated by all the monks of the West. The founder of the Benedictine order was buried at Monte Cassino in Italy, but after
the great invasion the monastery was plundered. The Abbot of Fleury decided to recover the ashes and since the 8th century they have been kept in St Benoit sur Loire.
Philip I, King of France, is also buried here above the crypt. He fled to Fleury Abbey to seek the protection of St Benedict. He had repudiated his wife and was therefore excommunicated by the
Church. Unable to be buried on Christian soil, he begged the saint and his "representatives" to pardon him.