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The community life, established under Schenoudi, the great disciple of St.This discipline is common to religious orders and congregations. 74) in the year 537 recognized among the Greeks three classes of religious: the novices, who wore the simple tunic ; the perfect, clothed with the pallium ; and the more perfect invested with the cuculla , or hood attached to a short cloak, covering the shoulders, which was considered the special emblem of the religious life. Ignatius of Loyola laid down that in his order there should be a simple profession, followed by more or less frequent renewal of vows until such time as the candidate should be prepared for the solemn or definitive profession; this under Pius IX and Leo XIII has become the common law of all religious orders.
The origins of religious profession date from the time when Christians were recognized in the Church as followers after perfection in the practice of religious life. Profession for a long time was made by clothing with the religious habit: the aspirant could personally put on the habit or receive it, with or without ceremony, from the abbot or from the bishop. The first formula, which expressly mentions poverty and chastity, is that of the Constitutions of Narbonne, promulgated in 1260 by St.
Although tacit profession, which has been expressly abolished for religious orders, has fallen into disuse everywhere, no particular rite or formula of profession is essential, unless distinctly required by the constitutions.
A general Decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites of 14-27 August, 1874, indicates the manner in which profession should be made during Mass.
There are however some congregations, such as the Nuns of the Sacred Heart in which all the vows are perpetual; and pious societies without perpetual vows, such as the Sisters of Charity of St.
Vincent de Paul ; or even without vows, like the Missionaries of Africa, or White Fathers, who have only an oath of obedience.