Guy de Montpellier

views updated


Founder of the Order of the holy spirit at Montpellier; d. Rome, 1208. Very little is known about him. Some historians credit him with an illustrious birth, but the documents call him only Fra Guido or Master Gui. He founded the hospital and the Order of Hospitalers of the Holy Spirit at Montpellier (c. 1180), a lay community for the care of the sick, and wrote for it a rule, which innocent iii confirmed (April 23, 1198). This same Pope, having called Guy to Rome (1204), confided to him the hospital of Santa Maria in Saxia, which became the model for similar Holy Spirit hospitals throughout Europe. The order spread into various countries, and soon received not only lay members making simple vows, but also clerics binding themselves by solemn vows. It came to be regarded as a military order, but the religious confined their work to the care of the sick.

Bibliography: Histoire Littéraire de la France 16:599600. p. a. j. paulinier, Gui de Montpellier (Montpellier 1870). p. de angelis, L'ospedale di Santo Spirito in Saxia e le sue filiali nel mondo (Rome 1958).

[j. daoust]