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9-08-2015, 15:36

The Catholic Reformation

The successes of Calvinism spurred the Catholic Church into more vigorous responses to Protestant challenges, which had begun somewhat fi tfully in the 1530s. Many historians see the developments within the Catholic Church after the Protestant Reformation as two interrelated movements, one a drive for internal reform linked to earlier reform efforts, and the other a Counter-Reformation that opposed Protestants intellectually, politically, militarily, and institutionally. In both of these movements, the papacy, new religious orders, and the Council of Trent that met from 1545 to 1563 were important agents. Beginning with Pope Paul III (pontifi cate 1534–49), the papal court became the center of the reform movement rather than its chief opponent. Paul appointed reformminded cardinals, abbots, and bishops who improved education for the clergy, tried to enforce moral standards among them, and worked on correcting the most glaring abuses. Reform measures that had been suggested since the late Middle Ages – such as doing away with the buying and selling of church offi ces (termed simony), requiring bishops to live in their dioceses, forbidding clergy to hold multiple offi ces (termed pluralism), ending worldliness and immorality at the papal court, changing the church’s tax collection and legal procedures – were gradually adopted during the sixteenth century. Paul III and his successors supported the establishment of new religious orders that preached to the common people, the opening of seminaries for the training of priests, the end of simony, and stricter control of clerical life. Their own lives were models of decorum and piety, in contrast to the fi fteenth- and early sixteenth-century popes such as Alexander VI (pontifi cate 1492–1503), Julius II (pontifi cate 1503–13), and Clement VII (pontifi cate 1523–34), who had concentrated on building and decorating churches and palaces and on enhancing the power of their own families. (Alexander was a member of the Spanish Borgia family, and accomplished his aims partly through the military actions of his son Cesare and the marriages of his daughter Lucrezia.) By 1600 the papacy had been reestablished as a spiritual force in Europe, with its political hold on central Italy suffering no decline in the process. Reforming popes also supported measures designed to combat the spread of Protestant teaching. Paul III reorganized the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Offi ce, giving it jurisdiction over the Roman Inquisition and putting its direction in the hands of a committee of cardinals in Rome. The Inquisition was given the power to investigate those suspected of holding heretical opinions or committing acts deemed theologically unacceptable, and was very effective at ending Protestantism, fi rst in the Papal States and then elsewhere in Italy, though local authorities sometimes limited the scope of its investigations. Paul III’s successors, Paul IV (pontifi cate 1555–9) and Pius IV (pontifi - cate 1559–65), promulgated an Index of Prohibited Books, which forbade the printing, distribution, and reading of books and authors judged heretical. (The Index was formally abolished in 1966, and the records of the Congregation of the Holy Offi ce were opened to scholarly study in 1998. During the time of Napoleon many of its records had been carted off to Paris, where they were sold as scrap paper.) Reforms involved religious orders as well as the papacy. Older religious orders, such as the Benedictines, Augustinians, and Franciscans, carried out measures to restore discipline and get back to their original aims. New religious orders such as the Theatines, Barnabites, and Capuchins worked among the poor and sick, establishing hospitals and orphanages and preaching and administering the sacraments in poorer districts. The most important of the new religious orders was the Society of Jesus, or the Jesuits, founded by Ignatius Loyola (1491?–1556). Loyola was a Spanish knight who became acquainted with the works of religious writers and mystics while his leg was mending after being broken in several places during a battle in the fi rst Habsburg–Valois war. Like Luther, he went through a period of inner turmoil and crisis of conscience, but resolved this through a rigorous program of contemplation rather than a new theological approach. He later described his techniques – in Spanish, so that they could be read by those who did not know Latin – in the Spiritual Exercises , which sets out a training program of structured meditation, designed to develop spiritual discipline and allow one to meld one’s will with that of God. The ultimate aim of Loyola’s program was not a mystical losing of oneself in God, however, but action on behalf of God. Though Loyola had not studied as a humanist, his stress on the individual will and the possibility – with God’s assistance – of self-control and holiness certainly fi tted with the ideas of Ficino and Pico. Loyola had, in fact, not studied formally at all, a defi cit that he recognized. He enrolled fi rst at a preparatory school to improve his Latin, and then studied briefl y at several Spanish universities. In 1528, he went to Paris to study theology, and quickly gathered a group of like-minded young men around him, including Francis Xavier (1506–52), who later became a missionary in Asia. Most of the members of this group were not priests, but they took the standard monastic vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, and also declared that they owed special obedience to the pope. After some initial misgivings, Pope Paul III responded in 1540 by recognizing the group as a new religious order, the Society of Jesus, whose main purposes were the entwined processes of education and conversion. The Jesuits founded schools, taught at universities, and preached popular sermons. They became confessors to infl uential people, and through this gained infl uence at many European courts. The order itself was highly centralized and arranged in a military-style hierarchy under a Superior General; Jesuits were not under the control of local bishops, an independence that the bishops often resented. Though Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises offered a quick four-week program for those beginning the process of self-discipline, preparation for admission into the order took many years, during which time a young man went through military-like training designed to transform him into a spiritual soldier controlled from within. Only those who had passed rigid examinations were allowed to become professed fathers and take the special fourth vow of absolute obedience to the papacy. Their training and discipline made Jesuits extremely effective. Under the leadership of Peter Canisius (1521–97), they established colleges in Vienna, Cologne, Munich, Mainz, and other cities in the southern part of the Holy Roman Empire, reconverting some areas that had become offi cially Protestant and strengthening the loyalty of areas that had been wavering. In 1565 Canisius sent ten members of the order to Poland-Lithuania, where many of the nobles were Protestants of various types – Lutheran, Calvinist, Socinian – and the offi cial policy was one of religious toleration. Jesuits established several colleges for training noble boys, and became confessors to the Polish monarchs; loyalty to Catholicism grew, and in the early seventeenth century King Sigismund III Vasa (ruled 1587–1632) repudiated the policy of toleration with little resistance. Jesuit missionaries went to Brazil, the Spanish New World colonies, West Africa, India, the East Indies, Japan, and China, where they worked to convert indigenous people and minister to the European soldiers, traders, and settlers who were there. (Missionary activity outside Europe will be discussed in more detail in chapters 7 and 13.) In 1580, Robert Parsons (1546–1610) and Edmund Campion (1540–81) began a Jesuit mission in Protestant England, providing spiritual guidance and religious services for English Catholics, and encouraging them to resist Elizabeth’s policies of religious uniformity. Campion was arrested and executed as a traitor, and Parsons returned to the continent to organize or expand colleges for Englishmen who wished to become Catholic priests. Despite the threat of arrest and execution, Jesuits and other priests stayed in England, where they were often sheltered by women from prominent Catholic families. Married women, according to common law, controlled no property, and imprisoning a woman would disrupt family life. Thus though Elizabethan offi cials fi ned and imprisoned Catholic men for recusancy (refusing to attend church), they were generally unwilling to apply the law to women, and English Catholicism increasingly centered on households. The unusual situation of Catholics in England allowed recusant women to play a more prominent role in the maintenance of Catholicism than was possible for women elsewhere in Europe. The year after the Jesuits obtained papal recognition, Isabel Roser, who had been an associate of Loyola’s in Barcelona, sought papal approval for an order of women with a similarly active mission of education, along with care of the sick and destitute. Loyola was horrifi ed at the thought of religious women in regular contact with lay people, and Pope Paul III refused to grant approval. Despite this, Roser’s group continued to grow in Rome and the Netherlands. Several years earlier, Angela Merici (1474–1540) had founded the Company of St. Ursula, a group of lay single women and widows also dedicated to the poor. This received papal authorization, and later in the century became a religious order focusing increasingly on girls’ education. Once they became a religious order, however, the Ursulines came under increasing pressure to become cloistered nuns, that is, to cut themselves off from the world in enclosed convents. Many Ursuline houses fought this, though others accepted claustration willingly, having accepted church teaching that the life of a cloistered nun was the most worthy role for a woman in the eyes of God. Ursuline houses were generally allowed to continue teaching girls, though now within the walls of the convent, and especially in France, they became the most important providers of education for girls.

SOURCE 14 Luise de Carvajal’s mission to England

Women’s requests to serve as missionaries were almost always denied, but a few women were given permission to minister to Catholics in England. One of these was a Spanish noblewoman, Luise de Carvajal y Mendoza (1566–1614), who was jailed several times for attempting to persuade English Protestants to convert to Catholicism. The following is a portion of a letter she wrote to Joseph Creswell, the director of the English Jesuits in Spain and Portugal, which gives a vivid account of street-corner religious debates. I can tell Your Grace that I have walked between the cross and holy water, as they say there, because I have been in prison, and since it was in the public jail, it would be useless for me to keep silent about it. The reason was because, arriving one day at a store in Cheapside [a part of London], leaning on the door sill from outside, as is my custom, the occasion offered to ask one of the young attendants if he was Catholic presented itself, and he responded, “No, God forbid!” And I replied, “May God not permit that you not be, which is what matters for you.” At this the mistress and master of the shop came over, and another youth and neighboring merchants, and a great chat about religion ensued. They asked a lot about the mass, about priests, about confession, but what we spent the most time on (over two hours) was whether the Roman religion was the only true one, and whether the Pope is the head of the Church, and whether St. Peter’s keys have been left to them [the popes] forever in succession. Some listened with pleasure, others with fury, and so much that I sensed some danger, at least of being arrested. But I thought nothing of it, in exchange for setting that light before their eyes in the best way I could. And in these simple matters of faith there are known methods [of persuading] which are very handy for anyone, and with which one can wage war on error. And although they might not take it very well at fi rst, in the end those truths remain in their memories, to be meditated upon and open to holy inspirations, and God’s cause for their salvation or condemnation is greatly justifi ed. And there are very many who never manage to fi nd out even where the priests are, and among the lay Catholics, not many want to run that risk [of contact with priests] without a guaranteed benefi t. And the merchants of Cheapside exceed the rest of the city in malice, error, and hatred for the Pope, as well as in the quantity of its residents and money. And some of this can be observed in the fact that, when I have spoken on several occasions with others about exactly the same things, they have always taken it affably. The mistress of the shop tried to stir everyone to anger, as did another infernal young man who was there, younger in age but with greater malice. The woman said it was a shame that they were tolerating me and that, without a doubt, I was some Roman [Catholic] priest dressed like a woman so as to better persuade people of my religion. Our Lord saw fi t that I speak the best English I’ve spoken since I’ve been in England, and they thought I was Scottish because of the way I spoke … While in jail I spoke about religion much more than I had out of it, with all the jailers and offi cials and their families and friends whom, with my permission, they brought to speak with me. And they listened nicely. And I didn’t want to let the chance slip by, remembering the Holy Apostle who says that the word of God is not tied down. (From Elizabeth Rhodes, This Tight Embrace: Luisa de Carvajal y Mendoza (1566–1614) [Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 2000], pp. 265–79. Reprinted by permission.) interrelated movements, one a drive for internal reform linked to earlier reform efforts, and the other a Counter-Reformation that opposed Protestants intellectually, politically, militarily, and institutionally. In both of these movements, the papacy, new religious orders, and the Council of Trent that met from 1545 to 1563 were important agents. Beginning with Pope Paul III (pontifi cate 1534–49), the papal court became the center of the reform movement rather than its chief opponent. Paul appointed reformminded cardinals, abbots, and bishops who improved education for the clergy, tried to enforce moral standards among them, and worked on correcting the most glaring abuses. Reform measures that had been suggested since the late Middle Ages – such as doing away with the buying and selling of church offi ces (termed simony), requiring bishops to live in their dioceses, forbidding clergy to hold multiple offi ces (termed pluralism), ending worldliness and immorality at the papal court, changing the church’s tax collection and legal procedures – were gradually adopted during the sixteenth century. Paul III and his successors supported the establishment of new religious orders that preached to the common people, the opening of seminaries for the training of priests, the end of simony, and stricter control of clerical life. Their own lives were models of decorum and piety, in contrast to the fi fteenth- and early sixteenth-century popes such as Alexander VI (pontifi cate 1492–1503), Julius II (pontifi cate 1503–13), and Clement VII (pontifi cate 1523–34), who had concentrated on building and decorating churches and palaces and on enhancing the power of their own families. (Alexander was a member of the Spanish Borgia family, and accomplished his aims partly through the military actions of his son Cesare and the marriages of his daughter Lucrezia.) By 1600 the papacy had been reestablished as a spiritual force in Europe, with its political hold on central Italy suffering no decline in the process. Reforming popes also supported measures designed to combat the spread of Protestant teaching. Paul III reorganized the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Offi ce, giving it jurisdiction over the Roman Inquisition and putting its direction in the hands of a committee of cardinals in Rome. The Inquisition was given the power to investigate those suspected of holding heretical opinions or committing acts deemed theologically unacceptable, and was very effective at ending Protestantism, fi rst in the Papal States and then elsewhere in Italy, though local authorities sometimes limited the scope of its investigations. Paul III’s successors, Paul IV (pontifi cate 1555–9) and Pius IV (pontifi - cate 1559–65), promulgated an Index of Prohibited Books, which forbade the printing, distribution, and reading of books and authors judged heretical. (The Index was formally abolished in 1966, and the records of the Congregation of the Holy Offi ce were opened to scholarly study in 1998. During the time of Napoleon many of its records had been carted off to Paris, where they were sold as scrap paper.) Reforms involved religious orders as well as the papacy. Older religious orders, such as the Benedictines, Augustinians, and Franciscans, carried out measures to restore discipline and get back to their original aims. New religious orders such as the Theatines, Barnabites, and Capuchins worked among the poor and sick, establishing hospitals and orphanages and preaching and administering the sacraments in poorer districts. The most important of the new religious orders was the Society of Jesus, or the Jesuits, founded by Ignatius Loyola (1491?–1556). Loyola was a Spanish knight who became acquainted with the works of religious writers and mystics while his leg was mending after being broken in several places during a battle in the fi rst Habsburg–Valois war. Like Luther, he went through a period of inner turmoil and crisis of conscience, but resolved this through a rigorous program of contemplation rather than a new theological approach. He later described his techniques – in Spanish, so that they could be read by those who did not know Latin – in the Spiritual Exercises , which sets out a training program of structured meditation, designed to develop spiritual discipline and allow one to meld one’s will with that of God. The ultimate aim of Loyola’s program was not a mystical losing of oneself in God, however, but action on behalf of God. Though Loyola had not studied as a humanist, his stress on the individual will and the possibility – with God’s assistance – of self-control and holiness certainly fi tted with the ideas of Ficino and Pico. Loyola had, in fact, not studied formally at all, a defi cit that he recognized. He enrolled fi rst at a preparatory school to improve his Latin, and then studied briefl y at several Spanish universities. In 1528, he went to Paris to study theology, and quickly gathered a group of like-minded young men around him, including Francis Xavier (1506–52), who later became a missionary in Asia. Most of the members of this group were not priests, but they took the standard monastic vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, and also declared that they owed special obedience to the pope. After some initial misgivings, Pope Paul III responded in 1540 by recognizing the group as a new religious order, the Society of Jesus, whose main purposes were the entwined processes of education and conversion. The Jesuits founded schools, taught at universities, and preached popular sermons. They became confessors to infl uential people, and through this gained infl uence at many European courts. The order itself was highly centralized and arranged in a military-style hierarchy under a Superior General; Jesuits were not under the control of local bishops, an independence that the bishops often resented. Though Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises offered a quick four-week program for those beginning the process of self-discipline, preparation for admission into the order took many years, during which time a young man went through military-like training designed to transform him into a spiritual soldier controlled from within. Only those who had passed rigid examinations were allowed to become professed fathers and take the special fourth vow of absolute obedience to the papacy. Their training and discipline made Jesuits extremely effective. Under the leadership of Peter Canisius (1521–97), they established colleges in Vienna, Cologne, Munich, Mainz, and other cities in the southern part of the Holy Roman Empire, reconverting some areas that had become offi cially Protestant and strengthening the loyalty of areas that had been wavering. In 1565 Canisius sent ten members of the order to Poland-Lithuania, where many of the nobles were Protestants of various types – Lutheran, Calvinist, Socinian – and the offi cial policy was one of religious toleration. Jesuits established several colleges for training noble boys, and became confessors to the Polish monarchs; loyalty to Catholicism grew, and in the early seventeenth century King Sigismund III Vasa (ruled 1587–1632) repudiated the policy of toleration with little resistance. Jesuit missionaries went to Brazil, the Spanish New World colonies, West Africa, India, the East Indies, Japan, and China, where they worked to convert indigenous people and minister to the European soldiers, traders, and settlers who were there. (Missionary activity outside Europe will be discussed in more detail in chapters 7 and 13.) In 1580, Robert Parsons (1546–1610) and Edmund Campion (1540–81) began a Jesuit mission in Protestant England, providing spiritual guidance and religious services for English Catholics, and encouraging them to resist Elizabeth’s policies of religious uniformity. Campion was arrested and executed as a traitor, and Parsons returned to the continent to organize or expand colleges for Englishmen who wished to become Catholic priests. Despite the threat of arrest and execution, Jesuits and other priests stayed in England, where they were often sheltered by women from prominent Catholic families. Married women, according to common law, controlled no property, and imprisoning a woman would disrupt family life. Thus though Elizabethan offi cials fi ned and imprisoned Catholic men for recusancy (refusing to attend church), they were generally unwilling to apply the law to women, and English Catholicism increasingly centered on households. The unusual situation of Catholics in England allowed recusant women to play a more prominent role in the maintenance of Catholicism than was possible for women elsewhere in Europe. The year after the Jesuits obtained papal recognition, Isabel Roser, who had been an associate of Loyola’s in Barcelona, sought papal approval for an order of women with a similarly active mission of education, along with care of the sick and destitute. Loyola was horrifi ed at the thought of religious women in regular contact with lay people, and Pope Paul III refused to grant approval. Despite this, Roser’s group continued to grow in Rome and the Netherlands. Several years earlier, Angela Merici (1474–1540) had founded the Company of St. Ursula, a group of lay single women and widows also dedicated to the poor. This received papal authorization, and later in the century became a religious order focusing increasingly on girls’ education. Once they became a religious order, however, the Ursulines came under increasing pressure to become cloistered nuns, that is, to cut themselves off from the world in enclosed convents. Many Ursuline houses fought this, though others accepted claustration willingly, having accepted church teaching that the life of a cloistered nun was the most worthy role for a woman in the eyes of God. Ursuline houses were generally allowed to continue teaching girls, though now within the walls of the convent, and especially in France, they became the most important providers of education for girls.

SOURCE 14 Luise de Carvajal’s mission to England

Women’s requests to serve as missionaries were almost always denied, but a few women were given permission to minister to Catholics in England. One of these was a Spanish noblewoman, Luise de Carvajal y Mendoza (1566–1614), who was jailed several times for attempting to persuade English Protestants to convert to Catholicism. The following is a portion of a letter she wrote to Joseph Creswell, the director of the English Jesuits in Spain and Portugal, which gives a vivid account of street-corner religious debates. I can tell Your Grace that I have walked between the cross and holy water, as they say there, because I have been in prison, and since it was in the public jail, it would be useless for me to keep silent about it. The reason was because, arriving one day at a store in Cheapside [a part of London], leaning on the door sill from outside, as is my custom, the occasion offered to ask one of the young attendants if he was Catholic presented itself, and he responded, “No, God forbid!” And I replied, “May God not permit that you not be, which is what matters for you.” At this the mistress and master of the shop came over, and another youth and neighboring merchants, and a great chat about religion ensued. They asked a lot about the mass, about priests, about confession, but what we spent the most time on (over two hours) was whether the Roman religion was the only true one, and whether the Pope is the head of the Church, and whether St. Peter’s keys have been left to them [the popes] forever in succession. Some listened with pleasure, others with fury, and so much that I sensed some danger, at least of being arrested. But I thought nothing of it, in exchange for setting that light before their eyes in the best way I could. And in these simple matters of faith there are known methods [of persuading] which are very handy for anyone, and with which one can wage war on error. And although they might not take it very well at fi rst, in the end those truths remain in their memories, to be meditated upon and open to holy inspirations, and God’s cause for their salvation or condemnation is greatly justifi ed. And there are very many who never manage to fi nd out even where the priests are, and among the lay Catholics, not many want to run that risk [of contact with priests] without a guaranteed benefi t. And the merchants of Cheapside exceed the rest of the city in malice, error, and hatred for the Pope, as well as in the quantity of its residents and money. And some of this can be observed in the fact that, when I have spoken on several occasions with others about exactly the same things, they have always taken it affably. The mistress of the shop tried to stir everyone to anger, as did another infernal young man who was there, younger in age but with greater malice. The woman said it was a shame that they were tolerating me and that, without a doubt, I was some Roman [Catholic] priest dressed like a woman so as to better persuade people of my religion. Our Lord saw fi t that I speak the best English I’ve spoken since I’ve been in England, and they thought I was Scottish because of the way I spoke … While in jail I spoke about religion much more than I had out of it, with all the jailers and offi cials and their families and friends whom, with my permission, they brought to speak with me. And they listened nicely. And I didn’t want to let the chance slip by, remembering the Holy Apostle who says that the word of God is not tied down. (From Elizabeth Rhodes, This Tight Embrace: Luisa de Carvajal y Mendoza (1566–1614) [Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 2000], pp. 265–79. Reprinted by permission.) The exclusion of women from what were judged the most exciting and important parts of the Catholic Reformation – countering Protestants and winning converts – is refl ected in the relative lack of women from the sixteenth century who were made saints. Only 18.1 percent of those individuals from the sixteenth century who were made saints were women, whereas 27.7 percent of those from the fi fteenth century had been women. Sixteenth-century male saints tended to be missionaries, reforming bishops and popes, or opponents of Protestantism, while female saints were generally mystics or reformers of existing religious orders. The best known of these – indeed, the most famous of the women religious of the sixteenth century – was Teresa of Avila (1515–82), a Carmelite nun who recorded her mystical visions in a spiritual autobiography, founded new convents, and reformed her Carmelite order. Though Teresa did not advocate institutionalized roles for women outside the convent, she did chafe at the restrictions placed on her because of her sex, and thought of the new religious houses she founded as answers to the Protestant takeover of Catholic churches elsewhere in Europe. An affi rmation of the necessity of cloistering for all women religious was just one of many decrees issued by the Council of Trent, an ecumenical council convened by Paul III in 1545, which met with several breaks over the next eighteen years to defi ne Catholic dogma and reform abuses. In terms of dogma, Trent reasserted traditional Catholic beliefs in response to Protestant challenges: good works as well as faith are necessary for salvation; tradition along with Scripture contains essential Christian teachings; the mystery and power of the mass centers on transubstantiation, which can only be effected by an ordained priest; seven sacraments are effi cacious and, except for emergency baptisms, can be administered only by a priest; the Virgin Mary and the saints are to be venerated; priests and monks are to be celibate, and to give up their concubines. The Council of Trent also issued a large number of disciplinary decrees, though these were not accepted in all Catholic areas of Europe the way Tridentine dogmatic decrees were. (Regulations from the Council of Trent are termed “Tridentine” from the Latin name for the city of Trent, Tridentum.) These called for bishops to live in their dioceses, forbade the outright sale of indulgences (though not the pope’s power to grant them), strengthened the jurisdiction of bishops, and required every diocese to establish a seminary. Priests were to be trained to instruct and teach the laity, and were to keep records of how well their parishioners were fulfi lling their spiritual obligations, especially the duty to confess and receive communion during the Easter season. In its fi nal session, the Council passed the decree Tametsi , which laid out Catholic marriage doctrine. To be valid, a marriage would now have to be celebrated before witnesses, one of whom had to be the parish priest; priests were ordered to keep records of all marriages in their parishes. Divorce with remarriage was not allowable for any reason, though spouses who absolutely could not live together could ask for a separation from bed and board; annulment was still a possibility, but only for very extreme cases such as total impotence. Tridentine decrees set out ideals that were realized only very slowly; their impact would not be felt until the seventeenth or even the eighteenth century in many parts of Catholic Europe. By the time the Council fi nally disbanded in 1564, however, the Catholic Church had clearly begun to change. The church had revived traditional doctrine, provided the means for the enforcement of theological uniformity through such measures as the Inquisition and the Index of Prohibited Books, and begun to reform itself through the new religious orders with their emphasis on discipline and education. This revitalization was a matter not simply of the church hierarchy, but also of devotional life at the local level. Confraternities of lay people were established or expanded in many urban parishes and even in villages. Venice had 120 confraternities in about 1500 and almost 400 by about 1700. They held processions and feasts, engaged in penitential fl agellation, handed out charity to the poor, conducted funerary services for their members, purchased candles, furnishings, and art for churches, administered hospitals and orphanages, and supported local shrines and altars. Most confraternities were limited to men, though there were a few all-female confraternities, often dedicated to the rosary, the Virgin Mary, St. Anne (the mother of the Virgin), or another female saint. Jesuits relied on confraternities organized under their auspices, called Marian sodalities, for fi nancial and political support in their charitable, educational, and missionary activities. Some of these, such as the French Congregation of the Holy Sacrament or the Portuguese Misericordia confraternity, were secret bodies of courtiers and offi cials who provided support for the monarchy as well as engaging in devotional and charitable activities. Such support was important when the leaders in this reinvigorated Catholic Church fi elded armies against Protestants who were themselves more militant.

 

 

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