Charles Buck Theological Dictionary
In the Roman Catholic countries, signifies a society for the improvement of devotion. Of these there are several sorts, as,
1. The fraternity of the Rosary, founded by St. Dominic. It is divided into two branches, called the common rosary, and the perpetual rosary; the former of whom are obliged to confess and communicate every first Sunday in the month, and the latter to repeat the rosary continually.
2. The fraternity of the Scapulary, whom it is pretended, according to the Sabbatine bull of pope John XXII. the Blessed Virgin has promised to deliver out of hell the first Sunday after their death.
3. The fraternity of St. Francis's girdle are clothed with a sack of a grey colour, which they tie with a cord; and in processions walk barefooted, carrying in their hands a wooden cross.
4. That of St. Austin's leather girdle comprehends a great many devotees. Italy, Spain, and Portugal, are the countries where are seen the greatest number of these fraternities, some of which assume the name of arch- fraternity. Pope Clement VII. instituted the arch-fraternity of charity, which distributes bread every Sunday among the poor, and gives portions to forty poor girls on the feast of St. Jerome, their patron. The fraternity of death buries such dead as are abandoned by their relations, and causes masses to be celebrated for them.
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Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Fraternity'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/cbd/f/fraternity.html. 1802.