The area where Saint Elias is located was one of the centres of life of the Samnites and Romans, but still the settlements have not been found. For sure in the tenth century, the population left the valley centres and took refuge on a hill around a church dedicated to St. Elias that was placed under the protection of the Abbey of Montecassino. The church had been built before the year 867.
St. Elias always followed the fortunes of the Abbey from which the authorities tried in vain to escape. Over the centuries it has experienced numerous occupations and devastation such as that suffered in 1192, because of the struggles between the Emperor Henry VI and the Norman King Tancredi.
From the sixteenth century, thanks to some factories for the processing of wool and a paper mill that used the waters of the river Rapido, it became the most important economic cenrte of the territory after Cassino Abbey.
It suffered considerable damage during the Second World War and because of the disastrous earthquakes of 1915 and 1984.