Brothers of Christian Instruction of St. Gabriel

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Popularly known as the Brothers of St. Gabriel and officially as Institutum Fratrum Instructionis Christianae a Sancto Gabriele, FSG; a religious congregation devoted to education. For a long time there was question whether Gabriel deshayes merely restored a group that had been started in 1705 by St. Louis grignion de montfort or founded a new institute in 1821 at Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre (Vendée), France. A study by the historical section of the Congregation of Rites supported the latter conclusion [AAS 39 (1947) 240241]. Until 1853 members were known as the Brothers of the Holy Ghost. In France, when Justin Emile Combes caused the closing of schools run by religious (1903), the bishop of Luçon suppressed the Brothers of St. Gabriel, still a diocesan congregation. After subsequent reorganization it became a papally approved institute (1910). The original apostolate of teaching in elementary schools soon came to include instruction for the deaf, mute, and blind, especially in France. Later the brothers engaged in secondary education and in teacher training. The congregation spread to Canada (1888), Belgium and Gabon (1900), Thailand (1901), England, Spain, Madagascar, and India (1903), Italy (1904), Congo (Léopoldville, 1928), Malaysia (1952), Senegal (1954), Congo (Brazzaville, 1955), Republic of South Africa (1957), Colombia (1961), and Peru (1962). The generalate is located in Rome.

Bibliography: a. blain, Institut des Frères de l'Instruction Chrétienne de St-Gabriel (Poitiers 1897). e. gouin, "Les Frères de St-Gabriel au Canada, 18881913," La Revue Canadienne NS 12 (September 1913) 193206. Nova inquisitio super dubio: An B. Ludovicus M. Grignion de Montfort historice haberi possit uti fundator Fratrum Instructionis Christianae a S. Gabriele (S. Rituum Congregatio, Sectio Historica 66; Vatican City 1947).

[e. g. drouin/eds.]

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Brothers of Christian Instruction of St. Gabriel

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