The special feature of the institute was that the abbess ruled the monks as well as the nuns.
CATHERINE OF BOLOGNA, 1413-1463, a visionary, abbess of the convent of the Poor Clares in Bologna, canonized by Pope Benedict XIII., and commemorated throughout the Franciscan order on the 9th of March.
And one ran quickly and told the good abbess, or mistress of the abbey, what strange thing had happened.
"Surely," said the abbess, "this is a poem, most sweet, most true, most beautiful.
Two slight innovations were introduced: the minimum age of an abbess was fixed at sixty, and the period of novitiate was prolonged from one year to two.
Granted a privilege, by which the office of abbess was to continue in the ducal family of Saxony as long as any member was found competent and willing to accept the same.
From Hartlepool Hilda moved to Whitby, where in 657 she founded the famous double monastery which in the time of the first abbess included among its members five future bishops, Bosa, 'Etta, Oftfor, John and Wilfrid II.
Two of his daughters, Saethryth and ZEthelberg, took the veil; while another, Sexburg, was married to Earconberht, king of Kent; and a fourth, Ã†thelthryth, after two marriages, with Tondberht of the South Gyrwe and Ecgfrith of Northumbria, became abbess of Ely.
She had thirteen children - Frederick Henry, drgwned at sea in 1629; Charles Louis, elector palatine, whose daughter married Philip, duke of Orleans, and became the ancestress of the elder and Roman Catholic branch of the royal family of England; Elizabeth, abbess and friend of Descartes; Prince Rupert and Prince Maurice, who died unmarried; Louisa, abbess; Edward, who married Anne de Gonzaga, "princesse palatine," and had children; Henrietta Maria, who married Count Sigismund Ragotzki but died childless; Philip and Charlotte, who died childless; Sophia, who married Ernest Augustus, elector of Hanover, and was mother of George I.
In the middle ages the order fell into abeyance in both divisions of the Church, the abbess taking the place of the deaconess.
The nuns in England as in France were recruited from the highest families, and the abbess of Fontevrault, who was the superior-general of the whole order, was usually of the royal family of France.
The abbess obtained princely rank and a seat in the imperial diet.
The conventual estates were of great extent, and among the feudatories who could be summoned to the court of the abbess were the elector of Hanover and the king of Prussia.
The last abbess, Augusta Dorothea of Brunswick, was a princess of the ducal house, and kept her rank till her death.
It is commonly stated that he died in 680, in the same year as the abbess Hild, but for this there is no authority.
The mode of election, position, rights and authority of an abbess correspond generally with those of an abbot.
In the [[German Evangelical Synod Of North America|German Evangelical church]] the title of abbess (Aebtissin) has in some cases - e.g.
This office of abbess is of considerable social dignity, and is sometimes filled by princesses of the reigning houses.
Chapter seals may bear the patron saint, or a representation, more or less conventional, of the cathedral; monastic seals may have figures of the Virgin Mary, or other patron saint, or of the founder, or of abbot or abbess; or the conventual building.
In the manor of the abbess of Shaftesbury were 111 houses and 151 burgesses; here 42 houses had been totally destroyed since St Edward's reign.
In 1280 the abbess obtained the royal manor at an annual fee-farm rent of I 2 and remained the sole mistress of the borough until it passed at the dissolution of the monasteries to Sir Thomas Arundel, after whose execution it was granted about 1552 to William Herbert, earl of Pembroke.
Essen was originally the seat of a Benedictine nunnery, and was formed into a town about the middle of the 10th century by the abbess Hedwig.
The abbess of the nunnery, who held from 1275 the rank of a princess of the Empire, was assisted by a chapter of ten princesses and countesses; she governed the town until 1803, when it was secularized and incorporated with Prussia.
The abbess was a baroness ex officio, and the revenue.
The church of All Saints, originally of Norman foundation, was rebuilt in 1273 by the abbess and nuns of Godstow near Oxford, and was largely reconstructed early in the 15th century.
The scene of the legend now shifts to Rome, where Diocletian falls in love with a lovely nun named Ripsime; she, rather than gratify his passion, flees with her abbess Gaiana and several priests to Armenia.
She then succeeded Heiu, the foundress, as abbess of Hartlepool, where she remained several years.
Leaving his aunt, Matilda, abbess of Quedlinburg, as regent of Germany, Otto, in February 99 8, led Gregory back to Rome, took the castle of St Angelo by storm and put Crescentius to death.
Although Wimborne (Wimburn) has been identified with the Vindogladia of the Antonine Itinerary, the first undoubted evidence of settlement is the entry of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, under the date 718, that Cuthburh, sister of King Ine, founded the abbey here and became the first abbess; the house is also mentioned in a somewhat doubtful epistle of St Aldhelm in 705.
His own daughter Hathumoda was the first abbess, who was succeeded on her death by her sister Gerberga.
The abbey was ultimately recognized as holding directly of the Empire, and the abbess had a vote in the imperial diet.
Protestantism was introduced in 1568, and Magdalena, the last Roman Catholic abbess, died in 1589; but Protestant abbesses were appointed to the foundation, and continued to enjoy their imperial privileges till 1803, when Gandersheim was incorporated with Brunswick.
But its twin towers, known as the Sisters from the tradition that they were built by a Benedictine abbess of Faversham in memory of her sister, were preserved by Trinity House as a conspicuous landmark.
When the abbess Ethelburga of Fladbury (Worcestershire) found her projected pilgrimage impracticable, Alcuin wrote to her, saying that it was no great loss, and that God had better designs for her: "Expend the sum thou hast gathered for the journey on the support of the poor; and if thou givest as thou canst, thou shalt reap as thou wilt"(Ep. 300).
For forty years she was abbess at St Damian's, and the great endeavour of her life was that the rule of the nuns should be purged of the foreign elements that had been introduced, and should become wholly conformable to St Francis's spirit.
The abbess Hild and her monks recognized that the illiterate herdsman had received a gift from heaven, and, in order to test his powers, proposed to him that he should try to render into verse a portion of sacred history which they explained to him.
At the request of the abbess he became an inmate of the monastery.
All that we know of his date is that his dream took place during the period (658-680) in which Hild was abbess of Streanwshalch, and that he must have died some considerable time before Bada finished his history in 731.
1052), who was outlawed for seducing Eadgifu abbess of Leominster.
In 1477, however, the abbess Hedwig, aided by her brothers, Ernest and Albert of Saxony, compelled the bishop to withdraw, and for the next 200 years both town and abbey were under the protection of the elector of Saxony.
The abbess is solemnly admitted to her office by episcopal benediction, together with the conferring of a staff and pectoral cross, and holds for life, though liable to be deprived for misconduct.
Abbesses have a right to demand absolute obedience of their nuns, over whom they exercise discipline, extending even to the power of expulsion, subject, however, to the bishop. As a female an abbess is incapable of performing the spiritual functions of the priesthood belonging to an abbot.