Praestimonia were originally stipends derived from special foundations for theological candidates, to help them during their studies, or to give them the means, after their consecration, to enjoy the teachings of some distinguished theological establishment. The chapters, abbeys, universities, etc., in which such foundations existed, or which were possessed of the right of collation or presentation, granted these stipends, after examination of the testimonies with which the competitors accompanied their request, to the candidate who seemed to be the most worthy of such a favor, unless the deed of the foundation limited their choice to the individuals belonging to certain families. Sometimes the praestimonia were granted to ordained priests, as, for instance, in cathedral and collegiate churches to young ecclesiastics without prebend, but who, in the expectation of benefices to come, served in the choir and in other ecclesiastical ministries; in this case the praestimonia were sometimes considered as real benefices, and, like these, connected with determined functions. The question ventilated in more recent times, whether these praestimonia were rightly considered as prebends, can only in this latter case be answered in the affirmative, as no private foundation can be lawfully considered as a benefice before it has been admitted by the competent clerical authorities in titulm benficii. Allowances to ecclesiastics given otherwise than as beneficial revenue for ecclesiastical duties, or to laymen even fur ecclesiastical services, are no prebends in the canonic meaning of the word.

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