Celestines

celestinians. An order of hermits who adopted the Rule of St. Benedict about 1251 (see Benedictines). When their leader Peter of Morrone became Pope Celestine V in 1294, his monks took the name of Celestinians. Their discipline was severe. Celestine V introduced them into Monte Cassino, from which monastery they were removed by Boniface VIII. The order increased rapidly, spreading into France and Germany. At one time there were 150 priories. The German priories perished during the Reformation. In the early eighteenth century there were ninety- six houses in Italy and twenty-one in France, though the French Celestinians were suppressed by a commission in 1766. In 1785 the last surviving house at Calavino, near Trent, was closed. An attempt to revive the order in the nineteenth century met with no success.