Caloyers or Calogeri

Caloyers Or Calogeri.

The word Calogeri is from the Greek (καλόγεροι), and means good old men. The name Caloyers is of similar signification, and is generally given to the monks of the Greek Church. They are of the order of St. Basil, and consider it to be a sin to follow any other order than his. They are divided into three degrees: the novices, who are called Archari; the ordinary professed, called Microchemi; and the more perfect, called Megalochemi. They are likewise divided into Coenobites, Anchorites, and Recluses. The Ccenobites are employed in reciting their offices from midnight to sunset; and as it is impossible, in so long an exercise, that they should not be overtaken with sleep, there is one monk appointed to awake them; and they are obliged to make three genufiexions at the door of the choir, and, returning, to bow to the right and left to their brethren. The Anchorites retire from the world, and live in hermitages in the neighborhood of the monasteries; they cultivate a little spot of ground, and never go out but on Sundays and holidays, to perform their devotions at the next monastery. The Recluses shut themselves up in grottoes and caverns on the tops of mountains, which they never leave, abandoning themselves entirely to Providence. They live on the alms sent them by the neighboring monasteries. The Caloyers have four Lents. The first and greatest is that of the resurrection or Easter: it lasts eight weeks, and is called the Grand Quarantain. During this Lent the monks drink no wine; and such is their abstinence that, if they are obliged, in speaking, to name milk, butter, or cheese, they always add this parenthesis, "Saving the respect due to the holy Lent." The second Lent is that of the holy apostles, which begins eight days after Whitsunday: it generally continues three weeks, sometimes longer. During this Lent the monks are allowed to drink wine. The third Lent is that of the assumption of the Virgin: it lasts fourteen days, during which they abstain from fish, except on Sundays and on the transfiguration of our Lord. 'he fourth Lent is that of the Advent. The Caloyers, in addition to the usual monkish habit, wear over their shoulders a square piece of stuff, on which are represented the cross and the other marks of Christ's passion, with these letters: IC. XC. NC. Ι᾿ησοῦς Χριστος νικῷ, Jesus Clrist conquers. The inscription was sometimes written thus: IC. XC. NI KA; and we find it occasionally arranged, especially on coins, in the form of a cross, thus, H.A. Visitors or exarchs are placed over them, who visit the convents only to draw from them sums of money which the patriarch demands. Yet, notwithstanding these monks are compelled to pay both to their patriarch and to the Turks, their convents are very rich. They have many monasteries in Asia, on Mount Sinai, and in Palestine; in Europe, n ar Athens, in Chios, and in Amourgo, one of the Sporades, also on Mount Athos. Those on Mount Athos are the most celebrated, and are twenty-three in number. There are female Caloyers, or Greek nuns, who follow the rule of St. Basil. Their nunneries are always dependent on some monastery. SEE ATHOS; SEE GREEK CHURCH.

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