Brigittines (Birgittines or Bridgettines)

Brigittines (Birgittines Or Bridgettines), a monastic order in the Roman Church, also called Ordo Salvatoris, founded in 1344 by Brigitta (Birgitta or BRIDGET) at Wadstena, in Sweden, and confirmed in 1370 by Urban V. The nuns and monks lived to- ether under one roof, yet without seeing each other. There were to be in every convent 60 nuns, 13 priests (in honor of the twelve apostles and St. Paul), four deacons (to represent Ambrose, Augustine, Gregory, and Jerome), and 8 lay brothers. They lived on alms, were principally devoted to the worship of the Virgin Mary, and were governed by an abbess, who was assisted by a confessor chosen among the priests. Both sexes wore gray cowls; the nuns a crown of three white stripes with five red spots, the monks red and white crosses. Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, and several other countries had convents of this order, most of which were swept away by the Reformation. England had only one convent, the Sion House, founded by Henry V in 1413, suppressed by Henry VIII, restored by Queen Mary, and again suppressed by Elizabeth. The most celebrated member of this order was John (Ecolampadius, the celebrated reformer of Switzerland. At present the Brigittine monks are entirely extinct, while a few convents, inhabited by nuns only, were still found in 1860 in Bavaria, Poland, Holland, and England. A congregation of Brigittine (or Birgittan) nuns of the Recollection was founded in the seventeenth century by Maria of Escobar at Valladolid, in Spain, which in the eighteenth century had four convents.-Fehr, Gesch. der Monchsorden, nach Henrion, i, 413 sq.; Butler, Lives of Saints, Oct. 8; Helyot, Ord. Religieux, i, 484 sq.

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