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The decline of the Roman Empire began a period of uncertainty, obscurity and insecurity for Mont Joux Pass. Bandits plundered the travelers and held them hostages for Romans. In winter the pass was very dangerous, a 25 km to be traversed by foot in deep snow with the risk of avalanches, storms, fog, cold, hunger and exhaustion ever present. It was the middle of the 11th century that Bernard, Archaecon of Aosta, decided to create a refuge at the highest point of the Pass and establish a community to aid travelers. He entrusted the canons of the Order of St Augustine with the task of watching, at the risk of their own lives. "Here Christ is adored and fed" is the motto. For 9 centuries, the canons remained faithful to their calling, offering up to God their psalms and hymns and sallying forth to meet and lodge travelers at the Hospice. Today new means of communication shield us from those mountain hazards, but the monastery and hospice is still intended to be a haven of peace and love and remains open to hikers in the summer and skiers in winter. The hospice buildings in use today were built between the 16th and 17th centuries, and home to 80 Augustine monks.