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VALLOMBROSIANS, an order of monks under the Benedictine rule, founded by St John Gualbert in 1038. He was son of a Florentine nobleman, and became f1rstaBenedictine and then a Camaldulian. Finally, about 1030, he withdrew to Vallombrosa, a shady dale on the side of a mountain in the Apennines, 10 m. from Florence, and for some years led a completely solitary; life. Disciples, however, gathered around him, and he formed them into an order in which the cenobitical and the eremitical lives should be combined. The monks lived in a monastery, not in separate huts like the Camaldulians, and the Benedictine rule was the basis of the life; but the contemplative side was strongly emphasized, and every element of Benedictine life was eliminated that could be supposed to interrupt the attention of the mind to God—even manual labour. The Vallombrosians spread in Italy and France, but they never had more than sixty houses. They now have three, with some sixty monks in all. The habit was originally grey, but it became black; and the life also has been assimilated to that of the Benedictines. There were some convents of Vallombrosian nuns.

See Helyot, Histoire des Ordres religieux (1718), v. cc. 28, 29; Max Heimbucher, Orden u. Kongregationen (1907), I. § 44.  (E.C.B.)