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of the norms of Christian high culture onto the religious experience of the masses.

Among Catholics, the revival of even a purified traditional Catholicism could not suffice. Too many older forms of religious culture had been contaminated with false connotations and obsolete meanings. Some of the older saints - Saint Anthony, Saint Nicholas, or Saint Roch, for example - could be reinvigorated within the new militant context. But new saints, representing new values and able to give new impetus to the exercise of virtue and the devotional life had to be added to the Catholic pantheon. First of all there was Saint Joseph, Christ's foster-father. Yet even more important were those saints who possessed an exemplary value because they had experienced the difficulties of the era themselves and had found their own solutions: Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Francis Xavier, Roberto Bellarmino, Francis de Sales, Marie de l'Incarnation, Jean-Baptiste de La Salle, Joseph de Copertino, Rosa de Lima, Alfonso-Maria de Liguori, and BenoƮt-Joseph Labre, to name only some of the most significant bearers of the new values. The same holds for pilgrimages, purposely promoted in a purified form and accommodated to the new values and new spiritual claims of the church28 - which, of course, did not prevent lay people from venerating local hermits or healing saints, or from using ancient therapeutical springs as well, mostly against the wishes of their bishop or parish priest.

The cult of the Holy Virgin was promoted under a multitude of mostly new titles, which proclaimed her qualities as a moral example and protective mother of Christendom. New Marian pilgrimage sites were created, and old sites were revitalized - including Loreto in Italy, Montaigu in the Spanish Netherlands, and Kevelaer in Germany. Devotions were centred on Christ, the Holy Family, and the mysteries of faith. The rosary, the scapular, and at the top of the devotional hierarchy, the sacraments, all received a powerful new impetus. The sacraments themselves, in particular communion and confession, were surrounded with new rituals: communion became an aggregation ritual similar to the confession of faith in Protestantism or baptism among the Anabaptists; confession became an instrument for the control of individual moral development. New methods of communal Christianization were designed, the most important probably being the 'missions' during which whole parishes were submitted to a multi-faceted spiritual barrage by a visiting team of priests, members of specialized religious orders, who worked to obtain a collective conversion to true Christian life, beliefs, and morals.29

Yet social discipline, however pervasive it may have been in the societies of early modern continental European, was not able to absorb the totality

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