christianity in the middle ages monks, nuns, friars, pilgrims, monasteries and convents

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  • Slide 1
  • Christianity in the Middle Ages Monks, Nuns, Friars, Pilgrims, Monasteries and Convents
  • Slide 2
  • Christianity Spreads North When Rome fell, Christianity was just becoming an important force. Christianity in Europe at that time was practiced by members of the Roman Catholic Church. At the beginning of the Middle Ages, Christianity was only popular in places that had been part of the Roman Empire (e.g. Italy, Greece and Spain). Christianity was spread to the north by missionaries and monks.
  • Slide 3
  • Missionaries The head of the Roman Catholic Church was called the Pope. Some popes sent out missionaries to teach people about Christianity and convert them to the faith. The first missionaries were sent to the areas that are now England, Germany and France.
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  • St. Patrick Lived in the AD 400s Famous for converting Ireland to Christianity. He used a clover (a common plant in Ireland) to explain Christianity this is why clovers are used on St. Patricks Day Made a saint (title given by the Catholic Church to holy people) for his work in Ireland.
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  • Monks While missionaries went out to share Christianity, monks isolated themselves from society to practice their faith. Monks (men) lived in monasteries and nuns (women) lived in convents which sprang up all over Europe.
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  • Contributions of Monks For the most part, monks lived in isolation. However, they did offer services to their communities: Offered shelter to travelers Provided health care/hospitals Aid for the poor Ran schools Copied books Collected ancient writings Spread/shared their faith
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  • Vows of Monks To become a monk, a person took a set of vows. The most common were: Poverty Chastity Obedience Silence (not all monks) Life in monasteries followed a strict set of rules. Days were spent in prayer, study and work.
  • Slide 8
  • Religious Orders Different religious groups developed based on the teachings of famous leaders. St. Benedict (Benedictine Order) created the Benedictine Rule which first set up the strict behavioral guidelines followed by most monks in the early middle ages. The Monks of Cluny isolated themselves completely and focused only on religious matters.
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  • Religious Orders (cont.) Some religious orders wanted to practice their faith while living among the community. These groups were called friars. Two famous groups are the Dominicans and the Franciscans. Friars roamed an area preaching and begging for food.
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  • St. Francis of Assisi Lived 1182-1226 AD Founded the Franciscan Order Born wealthy but gave up wealth to serve the poor Patron saint of animals and ecology
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  • Mr. Linder and St. Francis
  • Slide 12
  • Pilgrimage A popular activity for Medieval Christians was to take a journey to a special religious place. Pilgrims traveled to the Holy Land or to the burial sites of famous saints. Some people took pilgrimages to show devotion, others saw these trips as great adventures.


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