a class of monastic orders in the Roman Catholic Church. The class comprises those canons (q.v.) who not only live in common, and under the same rule, but also bind themselves by either simple or solemn vows, and who therefore really constitute what is called in the Roman Church a "religious" order, SEE ORDER, RELIGIOUS. The "canons" owe their origin to Chrodegang (q.v.), who established them on a monastic basis; but after the tenth century the common life began to cease among a large portion of them. In the eleventh and twelfth centuries many attempts were made to restore their monastic character, and a number of congregations were founded. The most important among them were the Premonstratenses (q.v.), the congregation of St. Genoveva (q.v.), St. Rufus (q.v.), and of St. Victor (q.v.) in France, the Gilbertine canons (q.v.) in England, and the canons of the Holy Cross, or sometimes also called canons of the Holy Sepulchre, at Jerusalem. ,All the congregations followed either the rule of St Augustine, or composed their rule out of those of Augustine and Benedict. They were very numerous in England, where they were introduced about 1105, and where they had, at the time of their dissolution, 175 houses (in. eluding those of the canonesses). Their habit was a long black cassock, with a white rochet over it, and over that a black cloak and hood. In 1519 cardinal Wolsey undertook the reformation of all the congregations of regular canons existing in England, in virtue of a bull of Leo X. He ordered them to hold general chapters every third year, and to restore a rigid discipline. A few years after they were suppressed, together with all other English monasteries. In Ireland the regular canons were so numerous that they counted as many houses as all other orders together. One of the most celebrated reformers of the order in France was bishop Ivo of Chartres (t 1115); yet he did not found an independent congregation. The Congregation of St. Lawfrence, near Oulx, in the Dauphine, which was founded in 1050 by Gerard Charbrerius, spread especially in Savoy and south-eastern France. At the end of the eighteenth century they had nearly disappeared. The superior of the monastery of St. Lawrence, which still existed, bore the title of provost, possessed episcopal jurisdiction in his provostry, and was only dependent on the pope. The Congregation of Marbach, in Alsace, was established about 1100 by Manegold de Lutembach, and is said by some writers to have had, at one I
time, about 300 monasteries. Very numerous was the Congregation of Arouaise, established about the same time by three hermits, one of whom was made a cardinal. It spread over England, Scotland, Flanders, and I Poland. A reformed congregation of the Regular Canons of Lorraine (called the "Congregation of our Saviour") was established by Pierre Fourier in 1624, but I many of the other congregations refused to recognize it. The most celebrated and numerous of the congregations in Italy, next to that of Lateran, SEE LATERAN, was the Congregation of our Savior (of Bologna), founded by Stephen Cioni in 1408, which possessed, in the eighteenth century, three monasteries in the city of Rome. Few orders of the Roman Church have been oftener and more generally pervaded by gross abuses and corruptions than the regular canons. The greater number of the French congregations were extinguished by the French Revolution. A new congregation of regular canons "of the Sacred Heart" (generally called, after the street in Paris in which they had their first house, the Congregation of Picpus) was founded in 1823 by abbe Coudrin (see PICPus, Congregation of). See Helyot, Ordres Religieux, 1:761 sq.; Fehr, Geschichte der Monchsorden, 1:55 sq.; 2:27 and 408.