Order of Monte Vergine

The Benedictine Williamites, more often known by the name of its chief house, Territorial Abbey of Montevergine in central Italy, was a Catholic monastic order.[1]

Besides Monte Vergine, St. William of Vercelli founded a considerable number of monasteries, especially in the Kingdom of Naples, including a double monastery for men and women at Guglieto (near Nusco). Pope Celestine III confirmed the congregation by a bull (4 November 1197). In 1611 there were twenty-six larger and nineteen smaller Williamite houses. Benedict XIV confirmed new constitutions in 1741 to be added to the declarations on the Rule of St. Benedict prescribed by Clement VIII.

The mother-house, the only surviving member of the congregation, was affiliated to the Cassinese Congregation of the Primitive Observance in 1879. The community at Monte Vergine retains the white colour of the habit, which is in other respects like that of the black Benedictines.

There are said to have been some fifty Williamite nunneries, of which only two survived at the beginning of the eighteenth century. The habit was white with a black veil, and their rule very severe in the matter of fasting and abstinence.

Sources

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company. 


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