Piarists is the name of a Roman Catholic order which was founded by St. Josep- Clasanza or Calasantius, a Spanish nobleman and priest at Rome in 1607, and was approved by pope Gregory XV in 1,622 as a congregation of regulated clergy, under the name Patres scholarum piarum (Fathers of the pious schools). Paul V was the first pontiff to give encouragement to the work of this now celebrated order. Until that time Calasanza labored at Rome only, and was so remarkably successful in getting children for instruction under himself and his associates that his work was gladly accepted as that of a religious order by 1622. Calasanza was the first general of the congregation, and under his management it spread through Poland, Germany, Italy, and other countries. In 1860 the Piarists had 33 houses in Germany, 28 in Italy, 32 in Hungary, 14 in Poland, and at least 30 in Spain. In Italy they have since been suppressed; and the only country in which the Piarists conduct at present, educational institutions of note is the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. In Cis-Lithuanian Austria, in 1870, they had 29 houses with 297 members; included in which were 4 under- gymnasia. The Piarists take besides the three usual monastic vows, a fourththat of free instruction of youth. Pope Innocent XII granted them the privileges of the Begging Monks. Their dress is a long, black coat, like the overcoat of the Jesuits, and a mantle like theirs. At the head of the congregation stands the general, who is elected for six years, and to whom are subject the generals of the different societies or countries in which the order prevails. (J.H.W.)

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