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And today we celebrate...

Saturday, February 17

The Seven Founders of the Servite Order

Italian noblemen who sought to follow the Rule of St. Augustine

SEVEN FOUNDERS
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(13th century)

Their story

+ On this day, the church celebrates the memory of seven noblemen from Florence, Italy, who came together to create a new religious order dedicated to the Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

+ Known as the “Order of Servants of Mary,” the seven founders established their first community outside of Florence in 1240. Following the Rule of St. Augustine and wearing a black habit that was, according to tradition, given to them by Mary herself, the Servites dedicated themselves to lives of contemplation combined with service to the poor.

+ A “second order” of cloistered nuns was affiliated with the Servite Order in 1619. Saint Juliana Faconieri, the niece of one of the seven founders, established a “third order,” the Mantellate, around the year 1284.

+ The Seven Holy Founders were canonized in 1887.

Worth Knowing

The Servites are honored as one of the historic “mendicant” orders, along with Carmelites, Order of Friars Minor (the Franciscans), the Order of Preachers (the Dominicans), and the Hermits of Saint Augustine. Members of these orders are distinguished by their commitment to poverty and of holding any community property in common.

Quote

There were seven men worthy of all our praise and veneration, whom our Lady brought into one community to form this order of hers and of her servants. They were like seven stars joined together to form a constellation.”—From an early account of the founding of the Servite Order by an anonymous writer

To learn more about the Servite Friars (Priest and Brothers), click here.

To learn more about the sisters of the Order of Servants of Mary of London/Cuves, click here.

To learn more about the Servite Sisters of Ladysmith, Wisconsin, click here.

To learn more about the Mantellate Sisters, Servants of Mary, click here.

Prayer

Impart to us, O Lord, in kindness
the filial devotion with which the holy brothers
venerated so devoutly the Mother of God
and led your people to yourself.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

Access our archives of daily saint biographies here
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