In the middle of the 12th century, a local lord seized the abbey and ruled supreme. The abbot said: "I saw the abbey in an appalling state: its monastery was in ruin, its church converted into a fortress, no one serving God..."
But who was this boor, who feared neither God nor man? A guy named Itier de Digons, nicknamed the Recluse. Chanteuges’ monks thought they were in a safe place, behind their wall… But this man was a mad man, living like a recluse in his castle, a few kilometres away. People were afraid of this fortress, they refused to walk by when night came…
"He is a mad man, a monster under his cuirass, plundering all the area!…" yelled people. So one day, a monk said to Itier that he had to stop his sins, or else, he would go to Hell. Oh my gosh, the crazy monk!! He didn’t know who he was talking to. Itier killed him right away and went on with his life.
But one day, his beloved daughter kicked the bucket. It was the click: Itier was beside himself with grief and became a monk! He remembered the monk's reproofs, and also his speech about hell. So he entered Chanteuges abbey, calm, gentle as a lamb. But soon, he missed his previous life! He began to steel again, dragging other monks, the "red monks" because they were covered in blood…
Histoire poétique et littéraire de l'ancien Velay by Francisque Mandet says: "Soon, each night, a satanic troop emerged from the holy abbey, hiding below their habits, cuirass, dagger and sword, riding through the land to impose tributes to serfs and merchants, and taking their quarters in nuns’ convents." Soon, Itier and friends were expelled and… peace came back on Chanteuges.