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(166 words)

Author(s): Merz, Birgit
[German Version] Fontevrault, an abbey (near Saumur, western France) and congregation. Around 1101, the itinerant preacher Robert of Arbrissel founded a monastic community with four suborders of women and men living largely according to the Benedictine Rule (Benedict, Rule of) with a strict customary ( Consuetudines ). The brethren were charged with the secular and spiritual care of the nuns. The abbess of the larger monastery in Fontevrault was charged with the overall leadership of Fontevrault itself as well as of priories in France, Spain, and England. The congregation itself continued to exist until secularization (1790), then was revived in France at the beginning of the 19th century with three monasteries. The last priory in the tradition of Fontevrault, Ste. Marie de Fontevrault (w…

Trithemius, Johannes

(166 words)

Author(s): Merz, Birgit
[German Version] (Feb 1, 1462, Trittenheim an der Mosel – Dec 13, 1516, Würzburg), Benedictine reformer and writer, exponent of a monastic Humanism (III), with close contacts with renowned scholars and rulers. At the age of 21, he had already been appointed abbot of the Benedictine abbey at Sponheim, where he amassed an important library (II, 5). After difficulties with his convent, in 1506 he became abbot of the Abbey of St. James in Würzburg. Tritthemius pla…

Rode, Hinne (Johannes)

(166 words)

Author(s): Merz, Birgit
[German Version] (c. 1385, Trier – Dec 1, 1439, Montabaur), Benedictine reformer. After completing his studies, Rode lived first as a Carthusian. In ¶ 1421 Archbishop Otto v. Ziegenhain installed him with a papal dispensation as abbot of the Benedictine abbey of St. Matthias near Trier, in order to reform Trier’s Benedictine monasteries. The Council of Basel appointed Rode visitor general to the Benedictine provinces of Cologne-Trier and part of Mainz-Bamberg. Rode also contributed to the formation of the new Bursfelde…

Mary, Representations of

(1,943 words)

Author(s): Merz, Birgit
[German Version] I. Early Christianity – II. Byzantium – III. West Marian devotion (Mary, Veneration of) and representations of Mary have always influenced each other during the history of Christianity. Both reflect – especially in the West – the reality of life in a specific time and place. Together with the image of Christ, the representation of Mary has…


(95 words)

Author(s): Merz, Birgit
[German Version] (6th cent.), saint. The student of Benedict of Nursia and from a noble family, he was the patron of the Maurists. Pope Gregory the Great mentions Maurus in the Dialogues. In his Maurus vita (863), Odo of Glanfeuil – with little historical probability – equates him with the homonymous founder of the Glanfeuil Monastery in Gaul. The Maurus blessings for the sick are based on his legendary healings. Birgit Merz Bibliography B. Fiore, Mauro d'Equizio: discepolo e collaboratore di S. Benedetto, 1984 S.M. Avanzo, San Mauro abate, discepolo di San Benedetto, 1991.


(288 words)

Author(s): Merz, Birgit


(470 words)

Author(s): Merz, Birgit
[German Version] The Camaldolese are an offshoot of Benedictine monasticism, combining eremitic and cenobitic styles of life. They wear a white habit; nuns also a black veil. The order originated c. 1000 from the monastic reforms of Romuald of Ravenna (c. 952–1027), put into place at Fonte Avellana (c. 1000; Peter Damian) and Camaldoli (between 1023 and 1026). The constitutions, written between 1045 and 1057 by Peter Damian, followed between 1080 and 1085 …

Mary, Veneration of

(2,277 words)

Author(s): Petri, Heinrich | Thöle, Reinhard | Merz, Birgit
[German Version] I. Catholicism – II. Orthodox – III. Protestantism I. Catholicism In the Catholic Church veneration of the Mother of Jesus has always played a special role. One can distinguish between the praise of Mary (Mary, Mother of Jesus), and calling on her for help and intercession with God and his Son. Veneration of Mary is an expression of the piety of the believing people, and a reflection of belief in Mary's function…