Trinitarian Order

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Order of the Most Holy Trinity and of the Captives
Ordo Sanctissimae Trinitatis et Captivorum
Signumordinis.gif
Trynitarze.svg
Emblem of the Trinitarian Order
AbbreviationO.SS.T.
MottoGloria Tibi Trinitas et Captivis Libertas
Formation17 December 1198;820 years ago (17 December 1198)
FounderSaint John of Matha (both Saints John and Felix are seen as the "fathers of the order")
TypeClerical Religious Order (Institute of Consecrated Life)
PurposeThe Glory of the Most Holy Trinity and the Redemption of Captives
HeadquartersCuria General: Via Massimi, 114/c, 00136 Roma, Italia
Membership (2015)
585 (of whom 410 are priests)
Ministro General
Fr. Joseph Narlaly
Website www.trinitari.org

The Order of the Most Holy Trinity and of the Captives (Latin : Ordo Sanctissimae Trinitatis et captivorum), also known as the Trinitarian Order or the Trinitarians, is a Catholic religious order founded in Cerfroid, outside Paris, in late 12th century. From the very outset, a special dedication to the mystery of the Holy Trinity has been a constitutive element of the order's life.

A religious order is a lineage of communities and organizations of people who live in some way set apart from society in accordance with their specific religious devotion, usually characterized by the principles of its founder's religious practice. The order is composed of laypeople and, in some orders, clergy. Religious orders exist in many of the world's religions.

Brumetz Commune in Hauts-de-France, France

Brumetz is a commune in the department of Aisne in Hauts-de-France in northern France.

Paris Capital of France

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts. The City of Paris is the centre and seat of government of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated official 2019 population of 12,213,364, or about 18 percent of the population of France. The Paris Region had a GDP of €709 billion in 2017. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2018, Paris was the second most expensive city in the world, after Singapore, and ahead of Zürich, Hong Kong, Oslo and Geneva. Another source ranked Paris as most expensive, on a par with Singapore and Hong Kong, in 2018.

Contents

Papal documents refer to the founder only as Brother John, but tradition identifies him as Saint John de Matha, whose feast day is celebrated on 17 December. The founding-intention for the order was the ransom of Christians held captive by Muslims, a consequence of crusading and of pirating along the Mediterranean coast of Europe. [1] The Order has the initials "O.SS.T." Its distinctive cross of red and blue can be traced to its beginnings.

John of Matha Italian saint

Saint John of Matha (1160–1213) was a Christian saint of the 12th century and founder of the Order of the Most Holy Trinity, dedicated to ransoming captive Christians.

Ransom practice of holding a prisoner or item to extort money or property

Ransom is the practice of holding a prisoner or item to extort money or property to secure their release, or it may refer to the sum of money involved.

Muslims Adherents of Islam

Muslims are people who follow or practice Islam, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion. Muslims consider the Quran, their holy book, to be the verbatim word of God as revealed to the Islamic prophet and messenger Muhammad. The majority of Muslims also follow the teachings and practices of Muhammad (sunnah) as recorded in traditional accounts (hadith). "Muslim" is an Arabic word meaning "submitter".

Background

14th century Trinitarian cross at St Robert's Church, Pannal St Roberts, Trinitarian window004.jpg
14th century Trinitarian cross at St Robert's Church, Pannal

Between the eighth and the fifteenth centuries medieval Europe was in a state of intermittent warfare between the Christian kingdoms of southern Europe and the Muslim polities of North Africa, Southern France, Sicily and portions of Spain. According to James W. Brodman, the threat of capture, whether by pirates or coastal raiders, or during one of the region's intermittent wars, was a continuous threat to residents of Catalonia, Languedoc, and the other coastal provinces of medieval Christian Europe. [2] Raids by militias, bands, and armies from both sides was an almost annual occurrence. [3]

Catalonia Autonomous area of northeastern Spain

Catalonia is an autonomous community on the northeastern corner of Spain, designated as a nationality by its Statute of Autonomy. Catalonia consists of four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. The capital and largest city is Barcelona, the second-most populated municipality in Spain and the core of the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union. It comprises most of the territory of the former Principality of Catalonia. It is bordered by France (Occitanie) and Andorra to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the east, and the Spanish autonomous communities of Aragon to the west and Valencia to the south. The official languages are Catalan, Spanish, and the Aranese dialect of Occitan.

Languedoc Place in France

Languedoc is a former province of France. Its territory is now contained in the modern-day region of Occitanie in the south of France. Its capital city was Toulouse. It had an area of approximately 42,700 square kilometers.

The redemption of captives is listed among the corporal works of mercy. The period of the Crusades, when so many Christians were in danger of falling into the hands of Muslims, witnessed the rise of religious orders vowed exclusively to this pious work. [4]

Crusades A series of religious wars sanctioned by the Latin Church in the medieval period

The crusades were a series of religious wars sanctioned by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The best-known crusades are the campaigns in the eastern Mediterranean aimed at recovering the Holy Land from Muslim rule. The term crusade is now also applied to other church-sanctioned and even non-religious campaigns. These were fought for a variety of reasons including the suppression of paganism and heresy, the resolution of conflict among rival Roman Catholic groups, or for political and territorial advantage. At the time of the early crusades the word did not exist, and it only became the leading descriptive term in English around the year 1760.

History

Juan Carreno de Miranda. Founding of Trinitarian Order (Mass of St John of Matha) Carreno-de-miranda Orden de los Trinitarios.jpg
Juan Carreño de Miranda. Founding of Trinitarian Order (Mass of St John of Matha)

The Order of the Trinitarians (Order of the Holy Trinity and Captives) was founded by St. John de Matha after his vision of Christ with two captives around 1193. [5] [6] Pope Innocent III granted the order and its rule approval with his letter Operante divine dispositionis clementia, issued on 17 December 1198. [1] Soon after papal approbation, the Trinitarian ministry to Christian captives was incorporated into the Order's title: Order of the Holy Trinity and of Captives. In addition to the Order's purpose of ransoming Christian captives, each local community of Trinitarians served the people of its area. And so, their ministry included hospitality, care of the sick and poor, churches, education, etc. [1] Eventually, the Trinitarians also assumed the work of evangelization.

Pope Innocent III 12th and 13th-century Catholic pope

Pope Innocent III, born Lotario dei Conti di Segni reigned from 8 January 1198 to his death in 1216.

In Christianity, ministry is an activity carried out by Christians to express or spread their faith, the prototype being the Great Commission. The Encyclopedia of Christianity defines it as "carrying forth Christ's mission in the world", indicating that it is "conferred on each Christian in baptism." It is performed by all Christians. This is distinguished from the "office of minister", to which specific individuals who feel a certain vocation. It can signify this activity as a whole, or specific activities, or organizations within a church dedicated to specific activities. Some ministries are identified formally as such, and some are not; some ministry is directed towards members of the church, and some towards non-members. See also Apostolates.

Brother John's founding intention expanded quickly beyond the three initial foundations (Cerfroid, Planels, Bourg-la-Reine) into a considerable network of houses committed to the ransom of Christian captives and the works of mercy conducted in their locales. Trinitarian tradition considers St. Felix of Valois co-founder of the Order and companion of John of Matha at Cerfroid, near Paris. In Cerfroid the first Trinitarian community was established and it is considered the mother house of the whole Order. [7]

Bourg-la-Reine Commune in Île-de-France, France

Bourg-la-Reine is a commune in the southern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located 9.1 km (5.7 mi) from the center of Paris. The inhabitants are called Réginaburgiens.

Felix of Valois French hermit

Saint Felix of Valois was a hermit and a co-founder of the Trinitarian Order.

The first generation of Trinitarians could count some fifty foundations. In northern France, the Trinitarians were known as “Mathurins” because they were based in the church of Saint-Mathurin in Paris from 1228 onwards. [8] Ransoming captives required economic resources. Fundraising and economic expertise constituted important aspects of the Order's life. The Rule's requirement of "the tertia pars", or setting aside one-third of all income for the ransom of Christian captives, became a noted characteristic of the Order.

Louis IX installed a house of their order in his château of Fontainebleau. He chose Trinitarians as his chaplains, and was accompanied by them on his crusades. [4] The Master of the Trinity was taken captive together with Saint Louis after the Battle of Al Mansurah. [9]

Throughout the centuries, the Trinitarian Rule underwent several revisions, [4] notably in 1267 and in 1631. It has been complemented by statutes and constitutions. The thirteenth century was a time of vitality, whereas the following centuries brought periods of difficulty and even decline in some areas. The Council of Trent (1545–1563) was a major turning-point in the life of the Church. Its twenty-fifth session dealt with regulars and nuns and the reform of religious orders. Reforming interests and energies manifested themselves among Trinitarians in France with the foundation at Pontoise, north of Paris, during the last quarter of the sixteenth century. Reform-minded Trinitarians in Spain first established the movement known as the Recollection and then, under the leadership of St. John Baptist of the Conception, [7] a movement at Valdepeñas (Ciudad Real) known as the Spanish Discalced Trinitarians at the very end of the sixteenth century. Far-reaching periods of growth and development followed this rebirth.

Stone shield of the Trinitarian Order on the facade of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane (1638-1641) in Rome. Emblem Trinitarian Order Rome.jpg
Stone shield of the Trinitarian Order on the façade of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane (1638-1641) in Rome.

In succeeding centuries, European events such as revolution, government suppression and civil war had very serious consequences for the Trinitarian Order and it declined significantly. During the last decades of the nineteenth century, the Trinitarians began to grow slowly in Italy and Spain. Its members dedicated themselves to fostering and promoting devotion to the Holy Trinity, evangelising non-Christians, assisting immigrants, educating the young, and to parish work.

The Trinitarian Family

Today the Trinitarian family is composed of priests, brothers, women (enclosed nuns and active sisters) as well as committed laity. Members of the Trinitarian family include the Trinitarian religious; the Trinitarian contemplative nuns; the Trinitarian Sisters of Valence; the Trinitarian Sisters of Rome, Valencia, Madrid, Mallorca, and Seville; the Oblates of the Most Holy Trinity; the Third Order Secular (tertiaries) and other Trinitarian laity. [7] All are distinguished by the cross of red and blue which dates from the origins of the Order. Trinitarians are found throughout Europe and in the Americas as well as in Africa, India, Korea and the Philippines.

In 2000 the Vatican Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life approved “The Trinitarian Way” rule of life which would guide all the lay groups associated with the Trinitarians: the Third Order Secular, the Trinitarian Movement, Confraternities, etc. [10]

Like the Jesuits, Trinitarians also pledge not to seek promotion within the Church hierarchy. If promotion is offered, however, it is accepted.

Charism

The Glory of the Most Holy Trinity and the ransom of Christian Captives. Along with the Order’s mission of ransoming Christian captives, each Trinitarian Community served the people of its area by performing works of mercy; redemption and mercy are at the center of the Trinitarian charism. [1]

Our Lady of Good Remedy

Our Lady of Good Remedy is the patroness of the Order of the Most Holy Trinity. Devotion to Mary under this ancient title is widely known in Europe and Latin America. Her feast day is celebrated on 8 October. [11]

Scapular of the Most Blessed Trinity

The Scapular of the Holy Trinity is a devotional scapular associated with the Confraternity of The Holy Trinity and the Third Order Secular of the Most Holy Trinity. It is a white scapular with a cross of which the transverse shaft is blue and the longitudinal shaft red. [12] It is worn by Tertiaries as well as members of the Confraternity of the Blessed Trinity (or other Trinitarian associations that make use of the scapular) after investment with this scapular. It is a sign of consecration to the Holy Trinity and of fraternity.

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 "About the Trinitarians: Our Roots". www.trinitarians.org. Retrieved 2017-06-19.
  2. Brodman, James William, Ransoming Captives in Crusader Spain:The Order of Merced on the Christian-Islamic Frontier , 1986
  3. Ibn Khaldun, Histoire des Berbères et des dynasties musulmanes de l'Afrique septentrionale, ed. Paul Casanova and Henri Pérès, trans. William MacGuckin, baron de Slane (Paris, 1925-56), 3: 116-17
  4. 1 2 3 "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Order of Trinitarians". www.newadvent.org. Retrieved 2017-06-19.
  5. Henry Charles Lea, 2002, A History of Auricular Confession and Indulgences in the Latin Church, Adamant Media Corp. ISBN   1-4021-6108-5 page 497
  6. The Order of the Holy Trinity and Captives: Andrew Witko 2008
  7. 1 2 3 "Welcome into the Home Page of Trinitari.org". www.trinitari.org. Retrieved 2017-06-19.
  8. Alban Butler, Paul Burns, Butler's Lives of the Saints (Continuum International Publishing Group, 2000), 5.
  9. Jean de Joinville Memoirs of Louis IX
  10. "THE TRINITARIAN WAY". www.trinitari.org. Retrieved 2017-06-19.
  11. "Our Lady Of Good Remedy". www.ewtn.com. Retrieved 2017-06-19.
  12. "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Scapular". www.newadvent.org. Retrieved 2017-06-19.

Sources