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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  February 2003

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION February 2003

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Subject:

Re: Question about novices

From:

merum <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 12 Feb 2003 08:04:49 -0600

Content-Type:

text/plain

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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Some Benedictine houses also had oblates, which may relate to your question.
I don't know how common it still was at the time in the question (14c), but
there was a practice from early days that children could be vowed and given
(oblatus/a) by their parents to the monastic life in Benedictine houses.
These oblates were considered part of the monastery and enjoyed many of the
rights of the monks/nuns. The Council of Toledo (656) set a minimum age of
ten for this and also insisted they have free right to leave at puberty if
they wished. Canon law allowed a candidate to enter the novitiate any time
after the onset of puberty (or earlier with parental consent--back to
oblates again) but 14 was typically a benchmark age. Later, the Council of
Trent actually set 16 as a minimum for one year novitiate and 14 for a two
year novitiate, but (rare) exceptions are possible.

Someone on this list will no doubt have expertise on the question of oblates
and related practices of acceptance into the Benedictine cloister in 14c.



----- Original Message -----
From: "Ms Brenda M. Cook" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, February 11, 2003 4:06 PM
Subject: Re: [M-R] Question about novices


> medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
>
> I THINK I have read somewhere - and let's hope someone will correct me if
> I'm wrong - that a young person's life was divided into phases of seven
> years.
>
> For the first 7 years all children were with their mothers or their mother
> substitute  nurse, foster-mother &c.
>
> At the age of seven, boys were taken "from among the women" and those who
> were destined to be *miles* (knights) were sent to other "gentle"
households
> as pages. At about fourteen they became squires, and after that would be
> knighted as and when their conduct, prowess in battle, lucky patronage &c
> allowed. Unlucky ones might remain "Armeger" for a long time, even for
life
> if they died young.
> Boys intended to be *clericus* were sent to school at 7, either a grammar
> school, or a cathedral song school or a monastic school depending on date,
> family loyalties &c. At 14 they began the university education (until very
> recently undergraduates at Oxford & Cambridge were "in statu pupiliari" -
> had the status of a pupil, were assigned a moral tutor to oversee their
> conduct and (if residential in college) were expected to be in their rooms
> relatively early in the evening - and the streets were patrolled by
proctors
> who could challenge and discipline any student out late without proper
> permission.) and graduated in their late teens. I don't think you could be
> ordained to the priesthood until you were 30 but Minor Orders would be
> strung out along the intervening years: Doorkeeper, Exorcist or Catechist,
> Reader or Lector, Acolyte, Sub-deacon and then the  Major Orders: Deacon,
> Priest..   After about 1125 I think "sub-deacon" was reclassified as a
Major
> Order. Those in Minor Orders could marry unless they held a church
benefice.
> Major Orders had to be celibate. Of course, anyone could stick at any
> particular point.
>
> Your lad who joins the local Franciscans could probably do so at 14. The
> noviciate was at least a year and could be extended if anyone had any
> doubts.
>
> Girls of 12 and boys of 14 could marry if their parents wished. They could
> be betrothed at any age.
>
> Brenda M.C.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Sarah Roark" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Monday, February 10, 2003 6:52 AM
> Subject: [M-R] Question about novices
>
>
> > medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and
culture
> >
> > Here's another one of my picky questions for any kind person on the list
> > who's up on the fourteenth century or the mendicant orders, either one.
> >
> > What is the earliest age at which a boy or young man could generally be
> > expected to enter the novitiate in that period? Say, for instance, that
> > you've got an ambitious knight's family with a second son who seems
> > bright and the sort of boy that would do well in holy orders, and they
> > certainly can't afford to send him to the University of Paris or
> > anything like that but there is a nice Franciscan convent in the area.
> > What would be the procedure for grooming such a boy for a possible
> > career in the Franciscan order (and/or ordination as a priest)? I assume
> > the first step would be to send him to "grammar school" either at the
> > convent or maybe at the local church? -- And then what?
> >
> > Apologies in advance for any stupidities in the above...I certainly
> > welcome correction on any and all items. Many thanks as always...
> >
> > --Sarah Roark
> > -----------------------------------------------------------
> > "It comes in pints?"
> >
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> >
>
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