Sylvestrians is the name of an order of monks founded by Sylvester Gozzoloni, who was born in 1170 (or 1177) at Osimo, in the Papal States. He was educated at Padua and Bologna, and received a canonry at Osimo, which he renounced about 1217, in order to devote himself in solitude to a contemplative life of asceticism. Pupils and followers gathered about him, with whom he founded a monastery in 1231 on Mount Fano, in which the Benedictine rule was adopted, coupled with a vow of rigid poverty. Innocent IV confirmed the foundation (1247), and the order spread, particularly in Umbria, Tuscany, and Ancona. It was united with that of Vallambrosa in 1662, but again separated from it in 1681, and was endowed with new constitutions by Alexander VIII (1690), which provided for the celebration of matins at night, for reciprocal and also self- inflicted flagellations on every Wednesday and Friday in Advent and Lent, and for abstinence from the use of flesh, milk, and eggs on every Friday and every Church festival. A considerable number of convents, of nuns as well as monks, belonged to this order in its flourishing period; but it is now insignificant. Leo XII purposed to dissolve the order and incorporate its members with other organizations; but it has, nevertheless, been preserved to our time. An order of female Sylvestrians exists in Perugia. The direction of the order is placed in the hands of a general and a procurator- general, the former being chosen for four and the latter for three years. The habit is composed of a gown, scapulary, cowl, and mantle; its color is dark brown. The general wears violet, and is privileged to bear the pontificalia (q.v.). Herzog, Real-Encyklop. s.v.

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