Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/449

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AMBROSIANS 405 AMBROSIANS over the canons of his cathedral to his idea, but had more success with the " Priests of the Holy Crown", who served the basilica of the Holy Sepul- chre and lived in community. His exhortations to his clergy during the synodal meetings led certain men of good will to fall in with liis views, and he was able to install thetn in the church of the Holy Sepul- chre and the adjoining buildings, 10 August, 1578, giving them the name of "Uljlates of St. Am- brose". Tlieir community was endowed with the revenues of certain diocesan benefices, and witli a portion of the properties belonging to the Congrega- tion of the llumiliati, which liad just been dissolved by the Holy See. The rules by which the new con- gregation were to be gox-erned were submitted by their .uithor to St. Phili]) Neri and to St. Felix of Cantalico, tlio latter of whom persuaded him not to impose the vow of poverty, and, in their definite form, received the approbation of Ciregory Xlll. It was to be the duty of the Oblates to assist the archbishop in the government and administration of the diocese, to fill all such offices as he shoidd entrust to them, to go on missions to the most abandoned places, to serve vacant parislies, to manage semmaries, colleges, and Christian schools, to give retreats, and, in a word, to devote them- selves to the whole work of the ministry in com- pliance with the orders and wishes of the bishop. They were divided into two bodies, one remaining attaclied to the church of the Holy Sepulchre, the other labouring in the city and diocese. These latter formed si.K groups, or associations, under the direction of a responsible superior. The first, taking for their model the metliod followed at Rome by St. Philip and his priests of the Oratory, made their basilica a veritable centre of pious and charitable life, the cITect of which was felt throughout the city. Their work was directed by St. Charles himself, who was glad to stay among them, sharing their manner of life, and taking part in their exercises and in their tasks, nor is his memoiy so kept in honour anywhere as in this house. He was wont to say that of all the institutions which he had created that of the Oblates was the one he held most dear, and on which he set the greatest value. The Oblates of the Holy Sepulchre, moreover, established, for their own assistance, a confraternity of lay Oblates, composed of magistrates and prominent men, who bound themselves to visit the sick and the poor, to teach the ignorant, to reconcile enemies, and to defend the Faith. The "Company of the Ladies of the Oratory," also founded by them, aimed at fostering the practice of a serious Christian life among women of the world. They further under- took the management of the diocesan seminary, and of the colleges established by their holy founder; they preached the Gospel in the country districts, and even journeyed into the mountains in search of heretics. St. Charles was preparing to establish them in the famous sanctuary of Our Lady of liho, the very year of his death (1.5S4). The first Oblates belonged to the best of the Milanese clergj', among whom learning and virtue wer'-j always held in honour. The archbishops of Milan fostered the growth of the institution by all the means in their Cower, and it soon numbered two hundreil mem- crs. Cardinal Frederic Horromco caused their con- stitutions to be printed in lOl.'i, nor did tliey cease to labour in the service of the diocese until their dispersion by Napoleon I in ISIO. The Oblates of Our I>ady of Rho, however, escaped attention, and were left unmolested. They were reorganized by Mgr. Romilli, under the name of "Oblates of St. Charles", in 1SI8, and reinstated in their house of the Holy Sepulchre. The community is now, as in the past, one of learned and virtuous priests. One of their number, Ballerini, died Patriarcn of Antioch, after having governed the Church of Milan; another, Ramazotti, was Patriarch of Venice (18G1). Several Oblates, moreover, have become known by their theological and historical writings. The following may be mentioned: Ciiovanni Stupano (d. 1.580), au- thor of a treatise concerning the powers of the Church's ministers, and of the Pope in particular; Martino Honacina (d. 1031), one of the foremost moralists of his age, whose theological works have been several times republished, and who died sud- denly on his way to fill the position of Nuncio of Urban VIII at the court of the Emperor; Giussano, one of the best biographers of St. Charles; Sormano and, esixjcially, his contemporary, Sassi (Saxius, d. 1751), who succeeded Muratori as librarian. It is to him that we owe the edition, in five volumes, of the homilies of St. Charles, a history of the arch- bishops of Milan, and a treatise on the journey of St. Harnabas to that city. The Oul.vtks outside of Italy. — The example of St. Charles was followed, in the nineteenth cen- tury, by Mgr. Pie, Bishop of Poitiers, and by Mgr. Martin, Bishop of Paderborn. The former founded a society of priests on the lines of the Milanese Oblates, and with a similar mission, to whom he gave the name of "Oblates of St. Hilary", the patron saint of his diocese (18.50). The latter called his new society the "Congregation of the Priests of Mary." The most famous society of Oblates, however, out- side of Italy, is that of the Oblates of St. Charles, in London, founded by Cardinal Wiseman. The religious orders established in his diocese did not seem to him to answer adequately to modern con- ditions, nor were they wholly at his disposal. The priests of the Oratory, gathered round Faber and Newman, showed him, however, what may be looked for from one of these diocesan societies wlien di- rected by a man of ability. Manning was at that time at the Cardinal's disposal, and it was to him that the duty was entrusted of founding the new society, and of drawing up its rules. Manning took the Oblates of Milan as liis pattern, and gave his priests the title of "Oblates of St. Charles". The rules which he prcscril>ed for them were practically those drawn up by St. Charles for his disciples, adapted to English conditions, and were approved by the Holy See in 1857 and in 1877. Wi.seman installed his Oblates, with their superior and founder, at the church of St. Mary of the Angels, Bays- water, on Whit Monday of the latter j'ear. Before long they had created other missions or religious centres in the diocese of Westminster, and had their full share in the movement of conversions, which was then taking place in England. Nor did the opposi- tion of Errington, Wiseman's coadjutor, and of the Westminster chapter, hinder the advance of the society, though the Cardinal found himself, indeed, under the necessity of withdrawing them from his seminary at .St. Edmund's, where he had placed them. The staff of this house had supplied Manning with some of his best subjects, among others with Herbert Vaughan, who was to succeed liiin at West- minster. Under Manning's direction, the Oblates devoted themselves to various apostolic labours in London, nnd in other missions in the two dioceses of Westminster ami Southwark. They have founded in London elementary sclioiils, a higher school for boys, and tlic College of St. Charles, which is now a training college. They have had a hou.se in Rome since ISO!; in 1807 Pius IX appointed the supe- rior, Father O'Callaghan, rector of the English College, thus giving the Oblates the means of exer- cising a greater influence on the clergj-. The Arch- confraternity of the Holy Ghost, Manning's favourite devotion, with its centre at St. Mary of the Angels, has grown largely under their direction. Manning governed the Bayswater community from 1857 to