Protestantism is the second largest form of Christianity with collectively between 800 million and more than 900 million adherents worldwide or nearly 40% of all Christians. It originated with the 16th century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be errors in the Roman Catholic Church. Protestants reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal supremacy and sacraments, but disagree among themselves regarding the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, they emphasize the priesthood of all believers, justification by faith alone rather than by good works, the highest authority of the Bible alone in faith and morals. The "five solae" summarise basic theological differences in opposition to the Roman Catholic Church. Protestantism is popularly considered to have begun in Germany in 1517 when Martin Luther published his Ninety-five Theses as a reaction against abuses in the sale of indulgences by the Roman Catholic Church, which purported to offer remission of sin to their purchasers.
However, the term derives from the letter of protestation from German Lutheran princes in 1529 against an edict of the Diet of Speyer condemning the teachings of Martin Luther as heretical. Although there were earlier breaks and attempts to reform the Roman Catholic Church—notably by Peter Waldo, John Wycliffe, Jan Hus—only Luther succeeded in sparking a wider and modern movement. In the 16th century, Lutheranism spread from Germany into Denmark, Sweden, Latvia and Iceland. Reformed denominations spread in Germany, the Netherlands, Scotland and France by reformers such as John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, John Knox; the political separation of the Church of England from the pope under King Henry VIII began Anglicanism, bringing England and Wales into this broad Reformation movement. Protestants have developed their own culture, with major contributions in education, the humanities and sciences, the political and social order, the economy and the arts, many other fields. Protestantism is diverse, being more divided theologically and ecclesiastically than either the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, or Oriental Orthodoxy.
Without structural unity or central human authority, Protestants developed the concept of an invisible church, in contrast to the Roman Catholic view of the Catholic Church as the visible one true Church founded by Jesus Christ. Some denominations do have a worldwide scope and distribution of membership, while others are confined to a single country. A majority of Protestants are members of a handful of Protestant denominational families: Adventists, Anglicans, Reformed, Lutherans and Pentecostals. Nondenominational, charismatic and other churches are on the rise, constitute a significant part of Protestant Christianity. Proponents of the branch theory consider Protestantism one of the three major divisions of Christendom, together with the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodoxy. Six princes of the Holy Roman Empire and rulers of fourteen Imperial Free Cities, who issued a protest against the edict of the Diet of Speyer, were the first individuals to be called Protestants; the edict reversed concessions made to the Lutherans with the approval of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V three years earlier.
The term protestant, though purely political in nature acquired a broader sense, referring to a member of any Western church which subscribed to the main Protestant principles. However, it is misused to mean any church outside the Roman and Eastern Orthodox communions. Protestantism as a general term is now used in contradistinction to the other major Christian traditions, i.e. Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy. During the Reformation, the term protestant was hardly used outside of German politics. People who were involved in the religious movement used the word evangelical. For further details, see the section below. Protestant became a general term, meaning any adherent of the Reformation in the German-speaking area, it was somewhat taken up by Lutherans though Martin Luther himself insisted on Christian or evangelical as the only acceptable names for individuals who professed Christ. French and Swiss Protestants instead preferred the word reformed, which became a popular and alternative name for Calvinists.
The word evangelical, which refers to the gospel, was used for those involved in the religious movement in the German-speaking area beginning in 1517. Nowadays, evangelical is still preferred among some of the historical Protestant denominations in the Lutheran and United Protestant traditions in Europe, those with strong ties to them. Above all the term is used by Protestant bodies in the German-speaking area, such as the Evangelical Church in Germany. In continental Europe, an Evangelical is either a Calvinist, or a United Protestant; the German word evangelisch means Protestant, is different from the German evangelikal, which refers to churches shaped by Evangelicalism. The English word evangelical refers to evangelical Protestant churches, therefore to a certain part of Protestantism rather than to Protestantism as a whole; the English word traces its roots back to the Puritans in England, where Evangelicalism originated, was brought to the United States. Martin Luther always disliked the term Lutheran, preferring the term evangelical, derived from euangelion, a Greek word meaning "good news", i.e. "gospel".
The followers of
Saint Petersburg is Russia's second-largest city after Moscow, with 5 million inhabitants in 2012, part of the Saint Petersburg agglomeration with a population of 6.2 million. An important Russian port on the Baltic Sea, it has a status of a federal subject. Situated on the Neva River, at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea, it was founded by Tsar Peter the Great on 27 May 1703. During the periods 1713–1728 and 1732–1918, Saint Petersburg was the capital of Imperial Russia. In 1918, the central government bodies moved to Moscow, about 625 km to the south-east. Saint Petersburg is one of the most modern cities of Russia, as well as its cultural capital; the Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Saint Petersburg is home to the Hermitage, one of the largest art museums in the world. Many foreign consulates, international corporations and businesses have offices in Saint Petersburg. An admirer of everything German, Peter the Great named the city, Sankt-Peterburg.
On 1 September 1914, after the outbreak of World War I, the Imperial government renamed the city Petrograd, meaning "Peter's city", in order to expunge the German name Sankt and Burg. On 26 January 1924, shortly after the death of Vladimir Lenin, it was renamed to Leningrad, meaning "Lenin's City". On 6 September 1991, Sankt-Peterburg, was returned. Today, in English the city is known as "Saint Petersburg". Local residents refer to the city by its shortened nickname, Piter; the city's traditional nicknames among Russians are the Window to Europe. Swedish colonists built Nyenskans, a fortress at the mouth of the Neva River in 1611, in what was called Ingermanland, inhabited by Finnic tribe of Ingrians; the small town of Nyen grew up around it. At the end of the 17th century, Peter the Great, interested in seafaring and maritime affairs, wanted Russia to gain a seaport in order to trade with the rest of Europe, he needed a better seaport than the country's main one at the time, on the White Sea in the far north and closed to shipping during the winter.
On 12 May 1703, during the Great Northern War, Peter the Great captured Nyenskans and soon replaced the fortress. On 27 May 1703, closer to the estuary 5 km inland from the gulf), on Zayachy Island, he laid down the Peter and Paul Fortress, which became the first brick and stone building of the new city; the city was built by conscripted peasants from all over Russia. Tens of thousands of serfs died building the city; the city became the centre of the Saint Petersburg Governorate. Peter moved the capital from Moscow to Saint Petersburg in 1712, 9 years before the Treaty of Nystad of 1721 ended the war. During its first few years, the city developed around Trinity Square on the right bank of the Neva, near the Peter and Paul Fortress. However, Saint Petersburg soon started to be built out according to a plan. By 1716 the Swiss Italian Domenico Trezzini had elaborated a project whereby the city centre would be located on Vasilyevsky Island and shaped by a rectangular grid of canals; the project is evident in the layout of the streets.
In 1716, Peter the Great appointed Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Le Blond as the chief architect of Saint Petersburg. The style of Petrine Baroque, developed by Trezzini and other architects and exemplified by such buildings as the Menshikov Palace, Kunstkamera and Paul Cathedral, Twelve Collegia, became prominent in the city architecture of the early 18th century. In 1724 the Academy of Sciences and Academic Gymnasium were established in Saint Petersburg by Peter the Great. In 1725, Peter died at the age of fifty-two, his endeavours to modernize Russia had met with opposition from the Russian nobility—resulting in several attempts on his life and a treason case involving his son. In 1728, Peter II of Russia moved his seat back to Moscow, but four years in 1732, under Empress Anna of Russia, Saint Petersburg was again designated as the capital of the Russian Empire. It remained the seat of the Romanov dynasty and the Imperial Court of the Russian Tsars, as well as the seat of the Russian government, for another 186 years until the communist revolution of 1917.
In 1736–1737 the city suffered from catastrophic fires. To rebuild the damaged boroughs, a committee under Burkhard Christoph von Münnich commissioned a new plan in 1737; the city was divided into five boroughs, the city centre was moved to the Admiralty borough, situated on the east bank between the Neva and Fontanka. It developed along three radial streets, which meet at the Admiralty building and are now one street known as Nevsky Prospekt, Gorokhovaya Street and Voznesensky Prospekt. Baroque architecture became dominant in the city during the first sixty years, culminating in the Elizabethan Baroque, represented most notably by Italian Bartolomeo Rastrelli with such buildings as the Winter Palace. In the 1760s, Baroque architecture was succeeded by neoclassical architecture. Established in 1762, the Commission of Stone Buildings of Moscow and Saint Petersburg ruled that no structure in the
A nun is a member of a religious community of women living under vows of poverty and obedience in the enclosure of a monastery. Communities of nuns exist in numerous religious traditions, including Buddhism, Hinduism and Taoism. In the Buddhist tradition, female monastics are known as Bhikkhuni, take several additional vows compared to male monastics. Nuns are most common in Mahayana Buddhism, but have more become more prevalent in other traditions. Within Christianity, women religious, known as nuns or religious sisters, are found in Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Lutheran traditions among others. Though the terms are used interchangeably, nuns take solemn vows and live a life of prayer and contemplation in a monastery or convent, while sisters take simple vows and live an active vocation of prayer and charitable works in areas such as education and healthcare. Examples include the monastic Order of Saint Clare founded in 1212 in the Franciscan tradition, or the Missionaries of Charity founded in 1950 by Mother Teresa to care for people living in grave poverty.
All Buddhist traditions have nuns. The Buddha is reported to have allowed women into the sangha only with great reluctance, predicting that the move would lead to Buddhism's collapse after 500 years, rather than the 1,000 years it would have enjoyed otherwise. Ordained Buddhist nuns have more Patimokkha rules than the monks; the important vows are the same, however. As with monks, there is quite a lot of variation in nuns' dress and social conventions between Buddhist cultures in Asia. Chinese nuns possess the full bhikkuni ordination, Tibetan nuns do not. In Theravada countries it is believed that the full ordination lineage of bhikkunis died out, though in many places they wear the "saffron" colored robes, observing only ten precepts like novices. In Thailand, a country which never had a tradition of ordained nuns, there developed a separate order of non-ordained female renunciates called mae ji. However, some of them have played an important role in dhamma-practitioners' community. There are in Thai Forest Tradition foremost nuns such as Mae Ji Kaew Sianglam, the founder of the Nunnery of Baan Huai Saai, believed by some to be enlightened as well as Upasika Kee Nanayon.
At the beginning of the 21st century, some Buddhist women in Thailand have started to introduce the bhikkhuni sangha in their country as well if public acceptance is still lacking. Dhammananda Bhikkhuni the successful academic scholar Dr. Chatsumarn Kabilsingh, established a controversial monastery for the training of Buddhist nuns in Thailand; the active roles of Taiwanese nuns were noted by some studies. Researcher Charles Brewer Jones estimates that from 1952 to 1999, when the Buddhist Association of the ROC organized public ordination, female applicants outnumbered males by about three to one, he adds: "All my informants in the areas of Taipei and Sanhsia considered nuns at least as respectable as monks, or more so. In contrast, Shiu-kuen Tsung found in Taipei county that female clergy were viewed with some suspicion by society, she reports that while outsiders did not regard their vocation as unworthy of respect, they still tended to view the nuns as social misfits."Wei-yi Cheng studied the Luminary order in southern Taiwan.
Cheng reviewed earlier studies which suggest that Taiwan's Zhaijiao tradition has a history of more female participation, that the economic growth and loosening of family restriction have allowed more women to become nuns. Based on studies of the Luminary order, Cheng concluded that the monastic order in Taiwan was still young and gave nuns more room for development, more mobile believers helped the order; the August 2007 International Congress on Buddhist Women's Role in the Sangha, with the support of H. H. XIVth Dalai Lama, reinstated the Gelongma lineage, having been lost, in India and Tibet, for centuries. Gelongma ordination requires the presence of ten ordained people keeping the same vows; because ten nuns are required to ordain a new one, the effort to establish the Dharmaguptaka bhikkhu tradition has taken a long time. It is permissible for a Tibetan nun to receive bhikkhuni ordination from another living tradition, e.g. in Vietnam. Based on this, Western nuns ordained in Tibetan tradition, like Thubten Chodron, took full ordination in another tradition.
The ordination of monks and nuns in Tibetan Buddhism distinguishes three stages: rabjung-ma, getshül-ma and gelong-ma. The clothes of the nuns in Tibet are the same as those of monks, but there are differences between novice and gelong robes. Hokke-ji in 747 was established by the consort of the Emperor, it took charge of provincial convents, performed ceremonies for the protection of the state, became the site of pilgrimages. Aristocratic Japanese women became Buddhist nuns in the premodern period, it was thought they could not gain salvation because of the Five Hindrances, which said women could not attain Buddhahood until they changed into men. However, in 1249, 12 women received full ordination as priests. In the Roman Catholic tradition, there are a large number of religious institutes of nuns and sisters, each with its own charism or special character. Traditionally, nuns are members of enclosed religious orders and take solemn religious vows, while sisters do not live in the papal enclosu
Ledóchowski is the name of a Polish and Austrian noble family whose origins can be traced back to the Volhynian Voivodship. Because Polish adjectives have different forms for the genders, Ledóchowska is the form for a female family member. Members of the family have over the centuries distinguished themselves through services to the Catholic Church, the Austrian Crown as well as the Polish Crown; the Ledóchowski family is of Polish as well as Austrian aristocratic family. Their lineage begins in 1457 in the Volhynian Voivodeship of the Commonwealth of the Crown of the Polish Kingdom, where the boyar knight Nestor Halka took the name of his estate, Ledochow, as his own, it is said that the boyar dynastic family Halka family draw their origins to the times of the Kievan Rus in 971 As direct descendants of these boyar knights, members of the Ledóchowski family bear the same Coat of Arms with the name Szalawa. Their descendance from the Halka Family was further reflected by the official Austrian title of Halka von Ledóchow Count Ledóchowski.
The family was Orthodox until the 17th century. After the partition of Poland in the late 18th century, the country was carved up between Austria and Russia. Antoni Halka von Ledóchow Count Ledóchowski known as Count Antoni Halka-Ledóchowski, obtained the hereditary title of Count in Austria from Emperor Francis II on 8 May 1800; the title was confirmed in the Kingdom of Poland in 1824, in Russia on 18 May 1845. Members of this family have distinguished themselves with their services to the: Roman Catholic Church Austrian Crown Polish Crown/patriots The Historical Museum of Warsaw sponsored a temporary exhibition of the Ledóchowski family in October 2008; the Patrons of the Exhibition include Austrian President Heinz Fischer and President of Poland Lech Kaczyński. Historical Documents and Portraits were lent on a temporary basis to the museum by family members living in Europe. Members of the noble family Ledochowski live and flourish in Austria and the United Kingdom. There are however other thriving families carrying this name or variations thereof who are not related to this noble family.
It's worth noting that peasant families who were somehow associated with the townships of Ledochow or Leduchowka may have ended up with this surname. In Pyotr Krasnov's historical semi-biographical trilogy "From Double Eagle To the Red Flag", its hero General Sablin is a Guest at the Manor House of Count Ledokhovski; the difference in spelling can be attributed to a mis-translation of the Cyrillic spelling of the name Ledóchowski. In Joseph Roth's historical novels dealing with the dying days of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire "The Emperor's Tomb" and "The Radetzky March". Two members of the Ledóchowski family have walk on parts. In John Gallahue's fictional account of an ill-fated clandestine operation in Soviet Russia the reader is introduced to the Jesuit General Wladimir Ledóchowski. Baracz, Sadok. „Pamiętnik szlachetnego Ledochowskich domu“ Lwów, 1879 Gothaisches Genealogisches Taschenbuch der Gräflichen Häuser/1840 Halka-Ledochówski, Sigismund. Das Buch von meiner Lebensfahrt, Prag 1934-1935 Niesiecki, Kaspar.
"Herbarz Polski "1839-1845 Tom VI pp. 32 -- 38 Kaspar. „Herbarz Polski“ 1839-1845 Tom VIII pp. 393–94 William F. Hoffman info re Ledóchowski family Petr Nikolaevich Krasnov. From Double Eagle to Red Flag. Duffield. Roth, Joseph. La cripta dei cappuccini. Baldini Castoldi Dalai Edito. P. 195. ISBN 978-88-6073-905-6. Roth, Joseph. La marcia di Radetzky. Baldini Castoldi Dalai Edito. P. 162. ISBN 978-88-6073-906-3. Gallahue, John; the Jesuit. Stein and Day. P. 113. ISBN 978-0-8128-1531-3. Boniecki, Adam. "Herbarz Polski" Warsaw 1911, Tom XIV pp 54 -- 66 Mieczysław. Aby pozostał nasz ślad: dzieje rodu Ledóchowskich. ISBN 978-83-7095-051-4
Europe is a continent located in the Northern Hemisphere and in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south, it comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia. Since around 1850, Europe is most considered to be separated from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas and the waterways of the Turkish Straits. Although the term "continent" implies physical geography, the land border is somewhat arbitrary and has been redefined several times since its first conception in classical antiquity; the division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East-West cultural and ethnic differences which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The geographic border does not follow political boundaries, with Turkey and Kazakhstan being transcontinental countries. A strict application of the Caucasus Mountains boundary places two comparatively small countries and Georgia, in both continents.
Europe covers 2 % of the Earth's surface. Politically, Europe is divided into about fifty sovereign states of which the Russian Federation is the largest and most populous, spanning 39% of the continent and comprising 15% of its population. Europe had a total population of about 741 million as of 2016; the European climate is affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent at latitudes along which the climate in Asia and North America is severe. Further from the sea, seasonal differences are more noticeable than close to the coast. Europe, in particular ancient Greece, was the birthplace of Western civilization; the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD and the subsequent Migration Period marked the end of ancient history and the beginning of the Middle Ages. Renaissance humanism, exploration and science led to the modern era. Since the Age of Discovery started by Portugal and Spain, Europe played a predominant role in global affairs. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European powers controlled at various times the Americas all of Africa and Oceania and the majority of Asia.
The Age of Enlightenment, the subsequent French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars shaped the continent culturally and economically from the end of the 17th century until the first half of the 19th century. The Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain at the end of the 18th century, gave rise to radical economic and social change in Western Europe and the wider world. Both world wars took place for the most part in Europe, contributing to a decline in Western European dominance in world affairs by the mid-20th century as the Soviet Union and the United States took prominence. During the Cold War, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between NATO in the West and the Warsaw Pact in the East, until the revolutions of 1989 and fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1949 the Council of Europe was founded, following a speech by Sir Winston Churchill, with the idea of unifying Europe to achieve common goals, it includes all European states except for Belarus and Vatican City. Further European integration by some states led to the formation of the European Union, a separate political entity that lies between a confederation and a federation.
The EU originated in Western Europe but has been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The currency of most countries of the European Union, the euro, is the most used among Europeans. In classical Greek mythology, Europa was a Phoenician princess; the word Europe is derived from her name. The name contains the elements εὐρύς, "wide, broad" and ὤψ "eye, countenance", hence their composite Eurṓpē would mean "wide-gazing" or "broad of aspect". Broad has been an epithet of Earth herself in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion and the poetry devoted to it. There have been attempts to connect Eurṓpē to a Semitic term for "west", this being either Akkadian erebu meaning "to go down, set" or Phoenician'ereb "evening, west", at the origin of Arabic Maghreb and Hebrew ma'arav. Michael A. Barry, professor in Princeton University's Near Eastern Studies Department, finds the mention of the word Ereb on an Assyrian stele with the meaning of "night, sunset", in opposition to Asu " sunrise", i.e. Asia.
The same naming motive according to "cartographic convention" appears in Greek Ἀνατολή. Martin Litchfield West stated that "phonologically, the match between Europa's name and any form of the Semitic word is poor." Next to these hypotheses there is a Proto-Indo-European root *h1regʷos, meaning "darkness", which produced Greek Erebus. Most major world languages use words derived from Europa to refer to the continent. Chinese, for example, uses the word Ōuzhōu. In some Turkic languages the Persian name Frangistan is used casually in referring to much of Europe, besides official names such as Avrupa or Evropa; the prevalent definition of Europe as a geographical term has been in use since the mid-19th century. Europe is taken to be bounded by large bodies of water
St. Peter's Square
St. Peter's Square is a large plaza located directly in front of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City, the papal enclave inside Rome, directly west of the neighbourhood or rione of Borgo. Both the square and the basilica are named after Saint Peter, an apostle of Jesus considered by some to be the first Pope. At the centre of the square is an ancient Egyptian obelisk, erected at the current site in 1586. Gian Lorenzo Bernini designed the square 100 years including the massive Doric colonnades, four columns deep, which embrace visitors in "the maternal arms of Mother Church". A granite fountain constructed by Bernini in 1675 matches another fountain designed by Carlo Maderno in 1613; the open space which lies before the basilica was redesigned by Gian Lorenzo Bernini from 1656 to 1667, under the direction of Pope Alexander VII, as an appropriate forecourt, designed "so that the greatest number of people could see the Pope give his blessing, either from the middle of the façade of the church or from a window in the Vatican Palace".
Bernini had been working on the interior of St. Peter's for decades. There were many constraints from existing structures; the massed accretions of the Vatican Palace crowded the space to the right of the basilica's façade. The obelisk marked a centre, a granite fountain by Maderno stood to one side: Bernini made the fountain appear to be one of the foci of the ovato tondo embraced by his colonnades and matched it on the other side, in 1675, just five years before his death; the trapezoidal shape of the piazza, which creates a heightened perspective for a visitor leaving the basilica and has been praised as a masterstroke of Baroque theater, is a product of site constraints. According to the Lateran Treaty the area of St. Peter's Square is subject to the authority of Italian police for crowd control though it is a part of the Vatican state; the colossal Doric colonnades, four columns deep, frame the trapezoidal entrance to the basilica and the massive elliptical area which precedes it. The ovato tondo's long axis, parallel to the basilica's façade, creates a pause in the sequence of forward movements, characteristic of a Baroque monumental approach.
The colonnades define the piazza. The elliptical center of the piazza, which contrasts with the trapezoidal entrance, encloses the visitor with "the maternal arms of Mother Church" in Bernini's expression. On the south side, the colonnades define and formalize the space, with the Barberini Gardens still rising to a skyline of umbrella pines. On the north side, the colonnade masks an assortment of Vatican structures. At the center of the ovato tondo stands an uninscribed Egyptian obelisk of red granite, 25.5 m tall, supported on bronze lions and surmounted by the Chigi arms in bronze, in all 41 m to the cross on its top. The obelisk was erected at Heliopolis, Egypt, by an unknown pharaoh; the Emperor Augustus had the obelisk moved to the Julian Forum of Alexandria, where it stood until AD 37, when Caligula ordered the forum demolished and the obelisk transferred to Rome. He had it placed on the spina which ran along the center of the Circus of Nero, where it would preside over Nero's countless brutal games and Christian executions.
It was moved to its current site in 1586 by the engineer-architect Domenico Fontana under the direction of Pope Sixtus V. The Vatican Obelisk is the only obelisk in Rome. During the Middle Ages, the gilt ball on top of the obelisk was believed to contain the ashes of Julius Caesar. Fontana removed the ancient metal ball, now in a Rome museum, that stood atop the obelisk and found only dust. Christopher Hibbert writes. Though Bernini had no influence in the erection of the obelisk, he did use it as the centerpiece of his magnificent piazza, added the Chigi arms to the top in honor of his patron, Alexander VII; the paving is varied by radiating lines in travertine, to relieve what might otherwise be a sea of cobblestones. In 1817 circular stones were set to mark the tip of the obelisk's shadow at noon as the sun entered each of the signs of the zodiac, making the obelisk a gigantic sundial's gnomon. Below is a view of St. Peter's Square from the cupola, taken in June 2007. St. Peter's Square today can be reached from the Ponte Sant'Angelo along the grand approach of the Via della Conciliazione.
The spina which once occupied this grand avenue leading to the square was demolished ceremonially by Benito Mussolini himself on October 23, 1936 and was demolished by October 8, 1937. St. Peter's Basilica was now visible from the Castel Sant'Angelo. After the spina all the buildings south of the passetto were demolished between 1937 and 1950, obliterating one of the most important medieval and renaissance quarters of the city. Moreover, the demolition of the spina canceled the characteristic Baroque surprise, nowadays maintained only for visitors coming from Borgo Santo Spirito; the Via della Conciliazione was completed in
The term Ursulines refers to a number of religious institutes of the Catholic Church. The best known group was founded in 1535 at Brescia, Italy, by Angela Merici, for the education of girls and the care of the sick and needy, their patron saint is Saint Ursula. They are divided into two branches, one being the monastic Order of St. Ursula, among whom the largest group is the Ursulines of the Roman Union, described in this article; the other branch is the Company of St. Ursula called the "Angelines", who follow the original form of life established by their foundress. Merici, a member of the Third Order of St. Francis, was a woman of deep mystical belief, which she combined with the service of the poor and needy, she believed. From men and women who labored with her, she selected 28 women who wished to commit their lives to this endeavor; these women, along with Merici, made a commitment of their lives to the service of the church and of the poor on 25 November 1535, the feast day of Catherine of Alexandria, a major female spiritual figure in the Middle Ages.
The women called themselves the Company of St. Ursula, taking as their patroness the medieval patron saint of education. Continuing to live in their family homes, they would meet for conferences and prayer in common. Merici drew up a Rule of Life for them. In 1538 the company held its first General Chapter. In 1539 she added a book of Counsels to regulate the life of the group. Merici's vision was that they were to live among the people they served without any distinguishing feature, such as a religious habit; the company grew being joined by women from throughout her hometown of Desenzano. They came to be organized in groups, according to the parish in which they lived, the company spread throughout the Diocese of Brescia. One of the early works of the new Company was to give religious instruction to the girls of the town at the parish church each Sunday, an innovation for the period, having traditionally been left to the local parish priest, their work spread to other dioceses in the region. Angela Merici died on 27 January 1540.
The company was formally recognized in 1546 by Pope Paul III. Merici's death in 1540, had left the company without a clear leader. Organized loosely, questions about their future began to surface. Additionally, pressure began to come from the officials of the church, who were uncomfortable with a group of consecrated women living independently, not under the direct authority of the clergy. In 1572 in Milan, at the insistence of Charles Borromeo, the Cardinal Archbishop of Milan, the Ursulines agreed to become an enclosed religious order. Pope Gregory XIII approved this step, putting them under the Rule of St. Augustine, in place of Merici's rule. In France, groups of the company begin to re-shape themselves as cloistered nuns, under solemn vows, dedicated to the education of girls within the walls of their monasteries. In the following century, the Ursuline nuns were encouraged and supported by Francis de Sales, they were called the "Ursuline nuns" as distinct from the "federated Ursulines" of the company, who preferred to follow the original way of life.
Both forms of life continued to spread throughout Europe and beyond. At the beginning of the 18th century, the period of its greatest growth, the order was represented by 20 congregations, 350 convents and from 15,000 to 20,000 nuns; the Ursuline sisters were not the first Catholic nuns to land in the new world. They were preceded by the Heironymite order in 1585 in Mexico City, who established the convent of San Jerónimo y Santa Paula. In 1639, Mother Marie of the Incarnation, two other Ursuline nuns, a Jesuit priest left France for a mission to Canada; when they arrived in the summer of 1639, they studied the languages of the native peoples and began to educate the native children. They taught reading and writing as well as needlework, embroidery and other domestic arts; the Ursuline convent in Quebec City is the oldest educational institution for women in North America. Their work helped to preserve a religious spirit among the French population and to Christianize native peoples and Métis.
The first Ursulines arrived at Mobile, Alabama, in 1719. In 1727, 12 Ursulines from France landed in; the entire group of Ursulines were the first Roman Catholic nuns in. Both properties were part of the French colony of Louisiana, they came to the country under the sanctions of Pope Pius Louis XV of France. Following the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, their charter came under the jurisdiction of the United States, they instituted a school, both of which continue today. Ursuline Academy is the oldest continually operating Catholic school in the United States and the oldest girls school in the United States; the Ursuline tradition holds many United States firsts in its dedication to the growth of individuals, including the first female pharmacist, first woman to contribute a book of literary merit, first convent, first free school and first retreat center for ladies, first classes for female slaves, free women of color and Native Americans. In the Mississippi Valley region, Ursuline provided the first social welfare center.
The Old Ursuline Convent is located in the Vieux Carre. It is the oldest building in the Mississippi River Valley; the building now houses the Archdiocese of New Orleans' Archives as