Bible Dictionaries

1910 New Catholic Dictionary

Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Special devotions in honor of the Blessed Virgin were practised in the Jesuit schools in the 16th century. John Leon, a Belgian scholastic, who had learned this pious custom from Father Sebastian Cabarassi, S.J., in Sicily (c.1550) instituted the first sodality in the Roman College in 1563. Associations were formed in many schools in Europe and, at the request of Claudius Acquaviva, S.J., the Roman sodality was canonically erected (1584), with title "First Primary," by Pope Gregory XIII, who gave the Father General power to erect like sodalities and aggregate them to the mother Sodality. In 1751 the doors of the First Primary were opened to women's sodalities and in 1824 permission was given by Pope Leo XII for the affiliation of societies not under Jesuit direction. The main principles of the sodality, which state that it should be a select body devoted to the Blessed Mother and aiming at more than ordinary goodness, as well as the Act of Consecration, have remained the same since its origin in 1563.

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Bibliography Information
Entry for 'Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary'. 1910 New Catholic Dictionary. 1910.

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