Gabriel, St, Congregation of

Gabriel, St., Congregation of the name of two monastic congregations in the Roman Catholic Church. 1. The first Congregation of St. Gabriel was established at Bologna by Cesar Bianchetti, a senator of Bologna, who was born May 8, 1585, and after the death of his wife in 1638, devoted himself with great zeal to giving religious instruction totthe youth and the ignorant. In order to obtain aid in his work he established a congregation of lay gentlemen, who, without living in common, pledged themselves to promote the cause of Christian instruction, and assembled on certain days for devotional exercises and for deliberation on their work. Subsequently a second congregation was organized of such laviyaen as preferred to live in common, and to devote their whole lives to the cause. The latter were called Convivensti, the former Confientsi. The founder died in 1655. The congregation does not appear to have spread beyond Bologna. Members can be received from the eighteenth to the fiftieth year of age. The novitiate lasts three years, after which the novices may be received into the congregation by a two-thirds vote. They have to wait three years more before them have the right to vote. The officers are elected annually. See Delprat, Vita del Venerab. Servo di Dio Cesare Bianchetti (Bologusa, 1704). Helyot, Dictionnaire des Ordres Religieux, s.v. 2. Anmother "Congregation of the Brothers of St. Gabriel" has been estabbished in the present century by abbé Deshayes in France. The object of the congregation is to instruct the children, especially those of the country, in the Christian doctrine. Abbe Deshayes at first acted in concert with abbe Jean Marie Robert de Lamennais (q.v.), but subsequently they separated, Lamennais organizing the congregation of thee "Brothers of the Christian Instruction" (q.v.). The congregation of which Deshayes remained the superior assumed in 1835 the name of "Congregation of Brothers of St. Gabriel," after the patron saint of the founder. Abbé Deshayes died ins 1841. In 1858 the congregations had 73 establishlments and about 400 members. Every fifths year the congregation elects a superior general, who may be re-elected after the expiration of his term. The head establishment of the congregation is at St. Laurent de Sevre. See Migne, Dict. des Ordres Relig. volume 4, s.v.

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