« Anthony, Saint, the Hermit Anthony, Saint, Orders of Anthony, Saint, of Padua »

Anthony, Saint, Orders of

ANTHONY, SAINT, ORDERS OF: The oldest and most important of the religious orders named after St. Anthony, the father of monasticism, is that of the Hospitalers of St. Anthony, founded about the time of the first crusade (1095-99) by a nobleman of St. Didier la Mothe in Dauphiné, Gaston by name. According to the traditions of the order, Gaston’s son, Guérin, was cured of the disease known as St. Anthony’s fire (morbus sacer), whereupon the father founded a hospital for those suffering from this and similar maladies, near the great church of St. Didier, and, with his son and eight knightly comrades, undertook the part of nurses in the institution. St. Anthony appeared to the founder, gave him his staff (shaped like the letter “T”), and encouraged him in the work. Urban II. is said to have confirmed the order at the synod at Clermont in 1095. Calixtus II. in 1118 dedicated the church belonging to the Benedictine monastery Mons Major at St. Didier to St. Anthony, and so made it the chief sanctuary of the order, which was subject to the Benedictines. From the end of the twelfth century the order spread through the foundation of many houses (as at Rome in 1194; at Acco in 1208; and many in central and north Germany), and it acquired considerable wealth through the persistent zeal of its almsgatherers. They wore a black robe 193 with a light blue “T” (St. Anthony’s cross), and a little bell on the neck announced their coming. After a hard struggle the Hospitalers freed themselves from the Benedictines, and in 1286, by adopting the rule of St. Augustine, they became regular canons (popularly known as Tönniesherrn). In 1297 Boniface VIII. freed them from all episcopal jurisdiction and made their head master, the general abbot of St. Didier, directly subject to the papal see. At the beginning of the sixteenth century the number of houses amounted to 364. The order had suffered a moral deterioration, which the general abbot, Brunel de Gramont, with papal support, vainly endeavored to correct in the seventeenth century. In 1774 the order was united with the Knights of Malta (see John, Saint, Order of Hospitalers of).

O. Zöckler†.

Bibliography: Heimbucher, Orden und Kongregationen, i. 401-402; Helyot, Ordres monastiques, ii. 108-114; Seifart, Die Tönnesherrn und der ehrsame Rat in Hildesheim, in Zeitschrift für deutsche Culturgeschichte, 1872, pp. 121, 384; G. Uhlhorn, Die christliche Liebesthätigkeit im Mittelalter, pp. 178, 432, 478, Stuttgart, 1884.

« Anthony, Saint, the Hermit Anthony, Saint, Orders of Anthony, Saint, of Padua »
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