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Founded in 1619 by Virginia Centurione (d. 1651), daughter of the Doge of Genoa and wife of Gasparo Grimaldi Bracelli (d. 1625), who during a time of famine gathered a number of abandoned children into a home, which she called Santa Maria del Refugio dei Tribolati in Monte Calvario. Under her inspiration those associated with her in the work decided to lead a common life, follow the rule of St. Francis, and pledge themselves to the service of the poor and sick. They bound themselves, however, by no vows, but by a solemn promise of perseverance. Among the prominent Genoese who promoted the work of the sisters was the Marquess Emmanuele Brignole, through whose munificence a second house was founded, in 1641, after which the sisters were often called "le suore Brignole." The congregation soon spread through northern Italy. In 1815 Pius VII invited the sisters to Rome, and in 1833 Gregory XVI assigned them a house on the Esquiline, near the church of St. Norbert, now the chief house of the institute.


A congregation of secular priests , formed in 1633 by Hubert Charpentier to honour the Sacred Passion and to spread and maintain the Faith especially in regions under Huguenot control. The first houses were at Betharram in the Diocese of Lescar and at Notre Dame de Ceraison in the Diocese of Auch. United with a similar association formed by the Capuchin, Pere Hyacinthe, at the instance of Louis XIII, on Mont-Valérien near Paris, the congregation received royal confirmation in 1650. Later the pastors of Paris were admitted to membership, and during Holy Week pilgrimages were made from different parishes of Paris to Mount Valérien. The society did not survive the Revolution.

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The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

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