Cistercian monks living in the abbey of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme in Rome have been given two months to relocate to another abbey.
While no explanation has been offered, a decree from the Vatican Congregation for Religious formally suppressed the abbey in March.
This action follows the removal of the former abbot and other monks two years ago.
Santa Croce is one of the seven major basilicas of Rome and is home to a large piece of the True Cross along with other relics of the crucifixion.
The Cistercian monks have been caretakers of Santa Croce since 1561.