Vallumbrosan Order

John Gualbert established this contemplative order about 1036 with a mother house in Vallombrosa near Florence. He incorporated many eremitic elements into the pattern of Benedict's Rule, including poverty, strict enclosure, and perpetual silence. Only the order's lay brothers, the conversi, worked the fields. The order still has a few followers in Italy, but the number of abbeys has fallen from a high of sixty to about eight cloisters. The mother house has been closed.