Bohemian Crown subjects in Polish province of the Order of St. Paul in 18th century
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The Order of St. Paul the First Hermit was granted the Pope’s approval of the religious community in 1308. To Poland, the Pauline Fathers were brought at the invitation of Władysław, the Duke of Opole. Altogether, there were twenty-two Pauline monasteries on the Polish territory, with the most important location of Jasna Góra in Częstochowa. Apart from Poland, the Order of St. Paul had influence also on the neighbouring lands of the Bohemian Crown; in the 18th century, there were 102 monks originating from those areas of the Polish Province. Most of them came from Silesia (58 persons) and Moravia (32 individuals), and entered the novitiate between 1761 and 1770 (20 individuals) and between 1721 and 1730 (15 individuals). Most of the monks came from Kroměříž in Moravia (4), Racibórz, Opole in Silesia (3 from each town), Nový Jičín in Moravia (4), Olesno and Wrocław in Silesia (3 from each town), Tarnowskie Gory, Frýdek in Silesia, Příbor and Olomouc in Moravia (2 from each location). When entering the novitiate, the age of the Bohemian Crown subjects were ranged between 16 and 48 years, with most of the candidates being 21 and 22 years old (25 individuals in total). The usual period of time spent in the monastery was between 31 and 40 years, and the average lifespan – 29 years. The monks of the Czech origin usually died at the age of 33–41 and 55–65. A vast majority of the monks were priests (71 individuals) and only 2 of them were secular monks. Friars coming from the Czech lands performed various functions and roles within the Order, like vicar general and definitor general, provincial definitor, prior, sub-prior, provisor and novice master. There was also a large group dedicated to the academic studies and musical composition, as well as various pastoral roles, like preachers, confessors, exorcists and chaplains.
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