Trinity, Sisters of the Most Holy
TRINITY, SISTERS OF THE MOST HOLY
(OSST, Official Catholic Directory #2060); a title that embraces various congregations of women religious who are affiliated with the trinitarians through their common rule and tradition. The early history of the Trinitarian nuns, like that of the friars, is rather obscure because of the lack of sufficient historical records. A convent of nuns, pertaining to the Trinitarian second order, is known to have come into existence in 1236 in Avingania, a town in Aragon, Spain. Much later, in the early 17th century, a movement of reform of the cloistered Trinitarian nuns was directed in Madrid, Spain, by St. john baptist of the conception. An influential figure among these discalced Trinitarians was Mother Angela Maria of the Immaculate Conception (1649–90). Convents of this branch of the order exist in Spain and in South America.
There are several groups of Trinitarian Sisters of the conventual third order. Motherhouses of congregations, some of them with papal approbation, have been founded in Rome, Italy; Valence and Sainte-Marthe (near Marseilles), in France; Madrid, Valencia, and Seville, in Spain; and Palma, on the island of Majorca. The Trinitarian Sisters of Valence were the largest of these congregations. Founded at Lyons, France, about 1660, the motherhouse was moved to Valence in 1685. Suppressed during the French Revolution, the community revived in 1824, and subsequently spread to England, Belgium, and Italy. The sisters are engaged in teaching and in hospital work.
The Trinitarian Sisters of Madrid are an autonomous branch of a congregation begun in Italy in the early 19th century and approved by the Holy See in 1828. It was from the Italian congregation that the Trinitarian Sisters came to the U.S. in 1920. At the request of Father Isidore Ienne, OSST, and with the approval of Dennis Dougherty, Archbishop, and later Cardinal, of Philadelphia, four sisters came to teach school in Bristol, PA. A few years later they took charge of a school in Cleveland, OH, where they also opened a novitiate. In 1952 the sisters purchased the shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in Cleveland from the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the good shepherd. The U.S. provincialate is Euclid, OH; the generalate is in Rome.
[m. s. villella/eds.]