Online Encyclopedia

JESUATI

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V15, Page 337 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JESUATI, a religious order founded by Giovanni Colombini of Siena in 136o. Colombini had been a prosperous merchant and a senator in his native city, but, coming under ecstatic religious influences, abandoned secular affairs and his wife and daughter (after making provision for them), and with a friend of like temperament, Francesco Miani, gave himself to a life of apostolic poverty, penitential discipline, hospital. service and public preaching. The name Jesuati was given to Colombini and his disciples from the habit of calling loudly on the name of Jesus at the beginning and end of their ecstatic sermons. The senate banished Colombini from Siena for imparting foolish ideas to the young men of the city, and he continued his mission in Arezzo and other places, only to be honourably recalled home on the outbreak of a devastating pestilence. He went out to meet Urban V. on his return from Avignon to Rome in 1367, and craved his sanction for the new order and a distinctive habit. Before this was granted Colombini had to clear the movement of a suspicion that it was connected with the heretical sect of Fraticelli, and he died on the 31st of July 1367,soon after the papal approval had been given. The guidance of the new order, whose members (all lay brothers) gave themselves entirely to works of mercy,devolved upon Miani. Their rule of life, originally a compound of Benedictine and Franciscan elements, was later modified on Augustinian lines, but traces of the early penitential idea persisted, e.g. the wearing of sandals and a daily flagellation. Paul V. in 16o6 arranged for a small proportion of clerical members, and later in the 17th century the Jesuati became so secularized that the members were known as the Aquavitae Fathers, and the order was dissolved by Clement IX. in 1668. The female branch of the order, the Jesuati sisters, founded by Caterina Colombini (d. 1387) in Siena, and thence widely dispersed, more consistently maintained the primitive strictness of the society and survived the male branch by 200 years, existing until 1872 in small communities in Italy.
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