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(186 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (Nuns of the Immaculate Conception; see also Immaculate Conception, Order of the) was founded as a strictly contemplative order with the support of the Castilian court in 1484 in Galliana near Toledo by the Portuguese Beatriz de Silva y Meneses (Saint, c. 1426 – c. 1491), previously a lady at the court of Queen Isabella I of Castile, and confirmed by pope Innocent VIII in 1489. They originally lived by the rule and statutes of the Cisterc…


(338 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] ( Ordo Minimorum: OM; also: Paulans). The order of the Minims was founded in 1454 by Francis of Paula in Calabria (Italy) as the “Hermits of St. Francis of Assisi” for the purpose of leading an even more austere life than that stipulated by St. Francis for the Friars Minor (Minorites). The order's distinguishing marks are humility and penitence (the superior is designated “corrector”), in addition to a special vow of lifelong fasting that only allows a diet of bread, water, oil, fru…

Xaverian Brothers and Sisters

(252 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] The missionary work of Francis Xavier, the apostle of India and Japan, and his great prestige, have made him the patron of various orders. I. Orders of Men Missionari Saveriani (Societas Xaveriana, SX), founded in Parma in 1895 by Guido Maria Conforti (1865–1935) for missionary work; they began in China in 1898. Today they work primarily in Africa, America, and East Asia. The Missionary Society of St. Francis Xavier (Pilar Fathers, SFX), founded in Goa (India) in 1887, reorganized in 1939 under diocesan law …


(216 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] The Sylvestrine order ( Congregatio Silvestrina Ordinis Sancti Benedicti, CSilvOSB) was founded in Montefano (near Fabriano, in Italy) in 1231 by the hermit Silvestro Guzzolini (c. 1177–1267) as a reformed Benedictine congregation; it was recognized in 1247 by Innocent IV as Ordo S. Benedicti de Montefano. The Benedictine Rule (Benedict, Rule of Saint) was made more strict by eremitic and mendicant provisions (small houses, manual labor, and begging). The order, limited to central Italy, was reoriented by its fourth prior ge…

Spirit, Orders of the Holy

(537 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] 1. Order of the Holy Spirit (Hospitallers). A lay brotherhood going back to the Hospital of the Holy Spirit founded in Montpellier c. 1170/1175 by Guido of Montpellier, which was recognized as an order in 1198 by Innocent III (following the Augustinian Rule [Augustine, Rule of Saint], with a special vow of hospitality and statutes based on those of the chivalric hospitallers); in 1204 the hospital of Santa Maria (later Santo Spirito) at Sassia in Rome was transferred to them. The o…

Redemptorists (Liguorians)

(434 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, Congregatio Sanctissimi Redemptoris; CSR). The order was founded in 1732 in Scala, near Naples, by A.M. Liguori together with the Carmelite nun and mystic M. Celeste Crostarosa (1696–1755) and Tommaso Falcoia (1663–1743), bishop of Castellammare di Stabia. It is a congregation of priests who take simple life vows; its aim is sanctification through faithful discipleship and apostolic work. The members are to engage in extraordinary pastoral …

Ward, Mary

(212 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (Jan 23, 1585, Mulwith, near Ripon, England – Jan 30, 1645, Heworth, near York), founder of the Institutum Beatae Mariae Virginis (Congregatio Jesu). After joining the Walloon Poor Clares in St.-Omer (Flanders) in 1606, in 1609/1610 she founded an institute in St.-Omer for the education and pastoral care of girls, modeled on the Jesuits. She had already founded ten settlements with schools in several European countries when Urban VIII suppressed her work in 1631, citing absence of…


(398 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] is the collective name for the religious orders ( Ordines hospitaliarii) that emerged in the context of the medieval hospice movement (Hospice). In the wake of the crusades, chivalric groups assumed the responsibility for the care and services in the hospitals, thus leading to the chivalric hospital orders (Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem [Lazarites], established in the late 11th century for the care of lepers, focus on Western Europe from 1254, now present worldwide and activ…

Kolbe, Maximilian Maria

(366 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (baptized Rajmund; Jan 8, 1894, Zduńska Wola near Lodz, Poland – Aug 14, 1941, Auschwitz concentration camp), a Catholic martyr (IV). Kolbe joined the Order of Friars Minor Conventual (OFMConv, known as the Conventual ¶ Franciscans) in 1910, studied in Rome from 1912, earned his Dr.phil. in 1915, was ordained to the priesthood in 1918, and received his Dr.theol. in 1919. In 1917, together with six brothers from the order, he established the Marian prayer community Militia Immaculatae (M.I.) as a spiritual militia a…

Jesus and Mary, Congregation of

(196 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (Congrégation de Jésus et Marie, CJM; also called the Eudist Fathers), was founded in Caen in 1643 by the popular missionary and religious author Jean Eudes (1601–1680; canonized in 1925) for the education and training of the clergy as prescribed by the Council of Trent and for popular missionary activities. As a congregation of secular priests, they are not under vows but promise to obey their superior. They ran diocesan seminaries in Brittany and Normandy, promoted devotion to t…

Regular Clergy

(317 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] ( clerici regulares) in the broad sense are clerical members of an order or congregation, in contrast to secular or diocesan clergy ( clerici saeculares); in the Middle Ages and the early modern period, the term was extended to include canons regular. In the narrow sense, the term denotes the members of the new religious orders formed in the 16th and 17th centuries in the name of Catholic reform. They are characterized by life in community based on the counsels of perfection and solemn vows. Instead of r…


(404 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] I. Missionaries of St. Francis of Sales (Missionnaires de St. François de Sales d’Annecy), a congregation founded in 1838 in Annecy (France) by Pierre-Marie Mermier (1790–1862) for pastoral and missionary ministry in the spirit of Francis of Sales. In 1845 the congregation was already working in India, where today more than 75% of its members live; as “Fransalians” they exercise a pastoral and educational ministry and engage in scientific research. Today there are over 1,200 members. Their generalate is in Annecy. II. Oblates of St. Francis of Sales (see Oblates: II…


(184 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] A missionary society founded in 1849 in Vic (Spain) by A.M. Claret. The men's branch (Mission Society of the Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, CMF; Immaculate Conception, Orders of the), whose constitutions were given papal approval in 1870 and renewed after Vatican II, has always devoted itself to missionary service of the word (popular missions, religious exercises, school teaching, press apostolate, pastoral care beyond the parish, mission…


(210 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] ( Congregatio Patrum Doctrinae Christianae, DC). The Congregation of Doctrinarians (Pères Doctrinaires) that exists today was founded in 1592 in Avignon by César de Bus (1544–1607) and arose out of ¶ communities of priests and laity for providing religious instruction (Confraternities of Christian doctrine). Combined with the Somaschi from 1616 to 1647, it was able to develop independently from that time as a Catholic …


(179 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (Ordo Theatinorum; Clerici Regulares, CR), the oldest order of clerics regular, founded in Rome in 1524 by Gaetano da Tiene (1480–1547) and other members of the Oratory of Divine Love, founded in 1517, including Gian Pietro Carafa, bishop of Chieti (Lat. Theate; hence the order’s name) and later Pope Paul IV. The order’s goal was renewal of the church through a reformed clergy; its primary activities were pastoral ministry, charitable work (caring for people with incurable diseases), training of priests, missionary work …


(365 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] ( Ordo Beatae Mariae Virginis de Mercede redemptionis captivorum, OdeM; also: Nolascans). The Order of the Mercedarians was founded in Barcelona in 1218(?) by Pierre Nolasque (also known as Nolasco; c. 1189–1256) as a lay congregation of knights committed to the ransoming of Christian slaves from the Muslims of southern Spain and North Africa (today: deliverance from every form of social, political, and psychological enslavement). The ransom money was raised through the sale of real estat…

Sisters of the Poor Child Jesus

(178 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (Zusters van het Arme Kind Jesus, PIJ), founded as a congregation under papal law in Aachen in 1844 by K. Fey for the education of poor and abandoned girls. In 1872 there were almost 700 sisters in 25 houses, mostly in the Rhineland, with some 13,500 alumnae. As a result of the Kulturkampf, the mother house was moved to Simpelveld in Holland in 1878 (“Loretto House”). After they were readmitted in Germany in 1887, the sisters worked in higher education for girls and boarding schoo…

Peter, Catholic Orders of Saint

(269 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] There have been few orders of St. Peter; most no longer exist or have few members. Three deserve mention. 1. Congrégation de St-Pierre. The congregation was founded in La Chênaie (Brittany) in 1828 by Jean-Marie-Robert de La Mennais (1780–1860) and his brother Hugo-Félicité-Robert (1782–1854). Intended to replace the suppressed Jesuits, it had as its guiding principle absolute loyalty to the successor of St. Peter. Within a few years, it had over 60 members (including J.B.H. Lacordaire, P.L.P. Guéran…

White Fathers

(251 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (Missionaries of Africa; Missionarii Africae, MAfr; Patres Albi, PA), founded in 1868 in Algiers by its archbishop, C.M.A. Lavigerie, for missionary work in Africa; in 1869 he also founded the White Sisters (Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa). The organization and spirituality of the White Fathers is modeled on the Jesuits; their central mission was to build a church with indigenous clergy; therefore they attached great importance to training catechists and priests in schoo…


(252 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (Ordo Ss. Trinitatis et redemptionis captivorum, OSST; Fratres O.S.T.), a clerical order founded c. 1194 by St. John de Matha (1160–1213) in Cerfroid, near Metz, in honor of the Holy Trinity, to ransom or exchange captured Christians (16th–19th cent., involved in abolitionism), and for pastoral care and care of the sick in hospices and prisons. It received papal recognition in 1198. In the Middle Ages, it had 150 monasteries in 12 provinces throughout southern France, Spain, and I…
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