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I believe the Sisters of Mercy habit was also literally 33 lbs.   and it had a train for the chapel!   The sisters who were working the hospitals later had modified sleeves (narrow, not long and wide) so they wouldn't be in the way of the nursing sisters.  St. Mary's Hospital in SF has a big exhibit of them showing the various minor changes that took place throughout the 1800;s and 1900's until they modified the habit in the late 1960's early 70's.

Edited by AnneLine
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Yes, Anneline. apparently a bishop decided that all the unrelieved black might discourage vocations, so he urged them to adopt a veil with white trim and a white collar....

FP was paying a compliment, saying that he likes habits. :)

It was the Daughters of Charity's headgear that god them nicknamed "God's Geese."

graciandelamadrededios



Are these the Sisters who taught St. Teresa of the Andes? They look like them in the movie...

 

The Sisters who taught St. Teresa of Jesus of Andes were Madames of the Sacred Heart or Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus founded by St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, a french religious.  Their white headpiece were flutted.

 

The Sisters on the photos are Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary which was founded from Germany.

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The Pre-Vatican II Habit of the Madames of the Sacred Heart or Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus 

 

sophie_profession_cross.jpg?itok=MgKZzL1

sophie_by_w_bystram_network_card_cropped

 

St. Madeleine Sophie Barat (1779-1865) - above photos

 

 

n38.jpg

 

jes1.jpg?itok=D3Oq7Nmm

 

 

Edited by graciandelamadrededios
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They were called Coronets. They dropped them in 196...3?4?
It's a shame. I think they were beautiful. There's a very famous photograph taken at a Vincentian hospital in the area (one that I have a pretty close personal connection to) centered around a sister with a coronet on. I can't find the photo online, but there's a short video with it in it here:
http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2011-02-12/story/picture-compassion-and-grace-frozen-time-st-vincents-medical-center

 

They were called Cornette - originally - cornette was a sun bonnet used by french peasan women to protect their heads from the sun.  The Company of the Daughters of Charity are not religious women but apostolic sisters.  They did not professed perpetual vows but simple vows and are renewed annually.  They call their novices - seminary sisters.

 

As for the habit of the Daughters of Charity, Sr. Betty Ann McNeil, DC, has sent me information regarding how the habit of their sisters evolved.  I am very interested about the habit of DC Sisters since I received my education under the Vincentian Fathers and Brothers, and I was under a scholarship program sponsored by the Congregation of the Mission, the administrators of Adamson University in Manila, Philippines.  Our organization is called Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, founded by Bl. Frederick Ozanam and his adviser is a DC Sister, Sr. Rosalie Rendau.  Our Spiritual Director is a Vincential Priest who gave us yearly retreat and introduced all new members in serving the poor where we cook for the poor and eat with them in shared a tiny room within the slum areas in the middle of metropolis.  Our Vincentian Priest and Brothers taught us the beauty and value of the apostolate of presence.

 

Saints Vincent de Paul and Francis de Sales are very close friends and St. Vincent has served a confessor to the first Visitation Nuns.  When St. Francis founded the Visitation, the intention is that the sisters visit the sick and poor, but since the Council of Trent forbids nuns from going out of the enclosure, hence, the Nuns are prohibited doing active apostolate outside the cloister.  St. Francis de Sales was advised that the Visitation Nuns are to observe enclosure or face the dissolution of the community.  St. Vincent has cleverly worked around the problem by telling the Daughters of Charity that they are nuns but sisters; nuns observe enclosure and they serve the poor.

 

The Council of Trent laid down a strict provision that women religious embrace and observe major or minor papal enclosure in order to stump out the abuses and laxity of most religious communities common during those tumultuous times.  

 

The following are taken from letter sent by Sr. Betty Ann:

 

The first headdress of the Daughters of Charity was really a flat “bonnet” more like a cloche hat.  It was what the women in Ile de France and environs of Paris wore.  Their dress was to be that of peasant women or the working class.  The “cornette” was an outgrowth of this, but came later as “wings” gradually went up and out! Some of the early Sisters began to wear a large, white, linen sunbonnet or “cornette” on their heads to protect them from the inclemencies of the weather, especially the hot sun in the rural districts.  Gradually, all sisters began wearing the cornette, which became obligatory in 1685.  Eventually it was recognized universally as a symbol of charity and compassionate serving.  Their actions, carried out in humility, simplicity, and love, speak more loudly than words ever could, the beautiful name of charity.

 

The Daughters of Charity are apostolic religious women, or simply “sisters” engaged in active apostolic work called ministry.  The Daughters of Charity are not a “religious order” or “congregation” which refers to consecrated persons, e.g. religious with public vows (nuns).  The Daughters of Charity are an apostolic community whose full canonical title is “The Company of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, Servants of the Poor.

 

…… A result of the political and national tension/rivalry, the Daughters of Charity in Spain wore black habits and the headdress was different.

 

Those were written by the archivist of DC in Emittsburg Province.

 

In the book “Vincentians in the Philippines 1862 – 1992” written by Fr. Jesus Ma. Cavanna, CM (First Filipino Vincentian) and Fr. Rolando Dela Rosa, CM (former university president of my alma mater) there is a portion of how the company evolves. 

 

It started with the vision of our Founder, St. Vincent de Paul when he organizes a society of ladies called Confraternities of Charity.  St. Louise de Marillac, one of these ladies is a member and she soon became the co-foundress of Company of the Daughters of Charity.  A simple peasant girl Marguerite Nasseau from Suresness is rightfully called the first sister.  Her example became contagious that other girls began to join her.  The company gathered around Louise for instructions and thus, the Company of the Daughters of Charity was born.  In 1630, St. Vincent entrusted St. Louise the first sisters who dedicated themselves to the work of charity.  And on November 29, 1633, these first sisters decided in union with St. Louise, to live their ideal Christian charity in a community of fraternal and common life.  They serve the poorest of the poor visiting hospitals, insane asylum, teach children in schools, foundlings in orphanages, galley slaves, and wounded soldiers.  In 1644, she adopted the motto: “The Charity of Christ compels us!” (2 Cor 5:14).  St. Louise wanted to wear the same distinct habit but her delicate and poor health would not permit it, until her death, she wears her mourning dress and simple veil.

 

The principal aim of the Company of the Daughters of Charity is to devote themselves entirely to the service of Christ in the poor.  They professed evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience, by private vows to be renewed every year. 

 

Our holy founder (since I am also a member of SSVP) said: “Although they do not belong to a Religious Order; yet, as they are much more exposed to the world than nuns – their monastery being generally no other than the houses of the sick, their cell, a rented room; their chapel, the parish church; their cloister, the public streets or the wards of hospitals; their enclosure, obedience; their grating, the fear of God, and their veil, holy modesty; - they are obliged on this account, to lead a virtuous a life, as if they were professed in a Religious Order. 

 

A very distinct feature of the Company was although the immediate government was exercised by Superioress General, assisted by the General Council of Sisters, the actual Superior General was Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission.  This provision has existed from the beginning of the Company of the Daughters of Charity and it was expressly requested by the co-foundress St. Louise de Marillac, who saw that it is vital in safe-guarding the identity and vitality of the Vincentian spirit in every circumstance of lace and time.

 

The Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission, the successor of St. Vincent de Paul, has always had over the Company of Daughters of Charity a double power, dominative and jurisdictional, recognized by the Church and by their Constitutions.  The Sisters recognized and accept him as God’s representative helping them to maintain their characteristic spirit and to fulfill their specific mission in the Church.  They vow to obey him and he may command them in the name of this vow.  Within the Company, everything that pertains to the vow is within his jurisdiction.

 

The Superior General of the Vincentian Fathers appoints a Director General of the Company of the Daughters of Charity as his delegate and a permanent representative to help him and replace him during his absence.  His duty is to see to it that the life and apostolate of the sisters remain faithful to their vocation. The Director General is one of the Major Superiors to whom the Sisters also owes obedience.

 

In the various Provinces there is also a Provincial Superior or Provincial Visitor appointed by the Superior General from among the priests of the Congregation of the Mission.  The Sisters owe him obedience as to a Major Superior, and have full liberty to communicate with him.  He has the right to grant them the permissions indicated in the Statutes, and makes the canonical visitation.  The equivalent of Provincial Superior or Provincial Visitor in the Company of the Daughters of Charity is Provincial Visitatrix.  Local Superior is called Sister-Servant.

 

The first Vice-Visitatrix of the Philippine Subprovince was Sor Tiburcia Ayanz, D.C. or in Spanish H. de. C. (Hijas de la Caridad).  She was sent by her Superiors from Spanish Province of the Daughters of Charity to head the missionary work for the people in the Philippines.  Queen Isabella II of Spain issued a decree establishing the mission of the priests of the Congregation of the Mission and the sisters of the Company of the Daughters of Charity in October 19, 1582.  The daughters of St. Vincent de Paul was invited to start their mission in the Philippines but they will not go unless accompanied by Vincential Fathers and Brothers.

 

The Spanish Daughters of Charity wore black habit and flared veil while the French Sisters wear the Cornette and blue-gray habit.  Since the Sisters who came to the Philippines are from Spain, our Filipina Sisters adopted the same style and on summer months they wore white habit.  It is well known that there is rivalry between two countries and it is possible that it is one of the reasons why the Sisters in Spain and France wear a different headdress and color habit.  

 

On page 22 of this book I found the following:

 

Everything appeared to be settled at last.  Yet, as in most of God’s works, obstacles were to be found even at the last hour.  The unfortunate questions of the Sister’s toque or headdress, a ticklish trifle indeed, brought some serious trouble to this apostolic enterprise.  This rather puerile problem that for long disturbed the harmony between some Provinces of the Daughters of Charity, was not yet solved at that time; it was only late in the 20th century that Pope Pius XII found a solution by going back to the original simplicity so cherished by the holy Founder.

Edited by graciandelamadrededios
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The Pre-Vatican II Habit of the Daughters of Charity - French Style:

 

tumblr_ml8wlkA5nW1r1w31so1_500.jpg

 

nunzillas-086.jpg

 

cornette.jpg

 

 

The Pre-Vatican II Habit of the Daughters of Charity - Spanish Style:

 

Sor+Josefa+Mart%C3%ADnez+P%C3%A9rez.jpg

 

sor+martina+v%C3%A1zquez+gordo+la+gota+d

 

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344E9AB8CB154E2C1336204E2C1302.jpg

 

covered with thin black veil

 

A DC Sister, who is also an archivist sent me an email with an answer to my questions on why the DC in France and Spain has different styles of cornette.  She asked an international expert about Vincentian Family and this is what she found out:

 

I'm not quite that far in my researches, but here is what I know.

 

1. In 1816, the pope approved some rules that had been drawn up for the Daughters by a bishop, "Patriarch of the West Indies," but who actually lived in Spain. These rules came in because the king, Ferdinand VII, wanted to forbid religious communities from being under foreign superiors. (This was, of course, what Napoleon had done for French members of communities with foreign superiors.) Anyway, gradually these sisters gave up the use of the cornette, wearing it at first only in the house, with a mantilla outside; then giving it up altogether, by 1827. The dress was black. But after the Revolution, the French sisters also wore black for the sake of economy. I'm not sure when they returned to their traditional blue-grey color, but it was about 1835. Some Spanish sisters, therefore, continued with the black despite the general turn toward blue-grey.

 

2. In 1818, the king and the pope realized that the rules imposed in 1816 weren't doing the job, and the pope ordered that all the Sisters be subject to Paris. He did not specify anything about the habit, however. I suspect, but I don't know for sure, that the original founding in Spain, which came from the queen of Spain, continued a little "separatist," but adopted the cornette, or at least a version of the cornette. It was probably the same or nearly the same as the French version at the time, but the two evolved in somewhat different directions.

 

3. There was a second foundation in Spain, in the time of Jean-Baptiste Etienne, CM, superior general.. These were the "French" Sisters, with the full French habit, blue-grey with the cornette of the day (as happened in Emmitsburg, I presume.) The "French" and the "Spanish" Sisters worked in Spain, but in different places.

 

4. The Sisters in the Philippines must have carried their regular Spanish habits with them when they went to the Philippines. Other groups of Daughters were sent to Spanish-speaking countries, e.g., Mexico, but they were sent from France, although many of them were probably Spanish by nationality.

 

 

 

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For sure they are.But is this the way to show devotion to your vocation?

 

Wearing an ornate and often uncomfortable habit could be a way to show devotion...or it could just as easily be a way to show off. ;) Only God can tell a person's true intentions. Remember that an elaborate traditional habit isn't automatically a sign of devotion, and not having one isn't automatically a sign that devotion is absent.

 

It's also worth remembering that most women wore hideously uncomfortable clothing in the time period from which most of these photographs come - corsets and giant petticoats, for example - so what the nuns were wearing wouldn't have been so strikingly unusual then as it seems today.

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Wearing an ornate and often uncomfortable habit could be a way to show devotion...or it could just as easily be a way to show off. ;) Only God can tell a person's true intentions. Remember that an elaborate traditional habit isn't automatically a sign of devotion, and not having one isn't automatically a sign that devotion is absent.

 

It's also worth remembering that most women wore hideously uncomfortable clothing in the time period from which most of these photographs come - corsets and giant petticoats, for example - so what the nuns were wearing wouldn't have been so strikingly unusual then as it seems today.

 

I beg to differ......

 

Showing off the habit is the last thing in the minds of the Founders and Foundresses when adopting the habit for the Sisters/Nuns.  Please read through the history of founding the institute, congregation and order on why they adopted such and such habit.  

 

The first habit of the Religious Sisters were adopted the the peasant clothing of women during that time, which were wimple, common veil and tunic.

 

This is the reason why Vatican II asked the Sisters to update their habit, and they did.

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I wasn't referring to the founders and foundresses. I was referring to reasons why people might choose to enter a community with a traditional habit. Some are attracted to such communities for the best of reasons; others aren't. As I wrote, an elaborate traditional habit isn't automatically a sign of devotion, and it is a problem when people look at a sister and assume she must be very devoted for no other reason than what she's wearing. The habit could be a means of showing devotion for her, or it might not - only the individual knows. We shouldn't judge by clothing.

 

I also said that the old habits were representative of typical dress for their day.

Edited by beatitude
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Unknown order, US Civil war nurse Sister (habit looks very hot and heavy to wear)

us-civil-war-nun.jpg

 

I always absolutely adored habits like this one. I'm sure the headpiece was a pain, but it definitely looks very nice.

 

And she strikes me as Benedictine.

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