Charles Buck Theological Dictionary
Religious of St. a denomination given to divers communities of nuns, consisting generally of penitent courtezans; sometimes also called Magdalanettes. They were established at Mentz in 1542; at Paris in 1492; at Naples in 1324; at Rouen and Bordeaux in 1618. In each of these monasteries there were three kinds of persons and congregations; the first consisted of those who were admitted to make vows, and those bear the name of St. Magdalen; the congregation of St. Martha was the second, and was composed of those whom it was not thought proper to admit to vows finally; the congregation of St. Lazarus was composed of such as were detained by force. The religious of St. Magdalen at Rome were established by Pope Leo X. Clement VIII. settled a revenue on them; and farther appointed, that the effects of all public prostitutes dying interstate should fall to them; and that the testaments of the rest should be invalid, unless they bequeathed a portion of their effects, which was to be at least a fifth part of them.
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Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Magdalen'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/cbd/m/magdalen.html. 1802.