was similar to that of religious orders. Some new orders wore distinctive habits, as had earlier religious orders, but others adopted the cassock of parish priests. Often the new orders required a longer and more rigorous training than did the medieval orders. Most had both priests and lay brothers. Some, notably the Jesuits, were highly centralized; in others each community enjoyed considerable autonomy. Seven of them made teaching their main or only ministry. Most of the new orders tended to work with the poor and needy. Most encouraged frequent confession and weekly communion for both their own members and pious lay people. Most were confined to a single country during their formative decades, but almost all gradually spread to other countries. Many spread to Asia, Africa or the Americas, but all were slow to recruit new members from outside Europe. All were short on funds, but that had some advantages, notably that they rarely had to worry about interference from in commendam superiors who were not members of the order but controlled their finances.

Members in most of the new male religious orders fall into two groups: lay brothers who did low-skill jobs, largely around the community (e.g., cooks, porters, secretaries), and the priests and men in training for the priesthood. That division largely reflected social and class divisions in the larger society. Lay brothers usually came from the peasantry or urban working classes and seldom knew Latin, which was a prerequisite for priestly training. Some lay brothers were widowers who entered later in life; thus Giovanni Tristano, a respected architect, entered the Jesuits at forty. Most candidates entered religious orders between fifteen and twenty-two. The Theatines were probably the most aristocratic orders. Many of their candidates were already priests, as were those of the Roman Oratory. Most candidates of the teaching orders, the Jesuits and the French Oratorians, came from their students. Most were sons of merchants, administrators, lawyers and doctors. Younger sons of the nobility often entered the religious life. Thus the good manners of the Jesuits and the fact that three of their first five Generals were noblemen made the Jesuits an acceptable career for the nobility, especially after Duke Francis Borgia became a Jesuit. But many noble and wealthy families feared losing their sons and threatened to withdraw them from Jesuit schools, so Loyola barred accepting students from a Jesuit school without their parents' permission. In Spain only theJesuits would accept candidates ofJewish ancestry; many such men entered, but in 1593 theJesuits too, underpressure from Philip II, barred their doors. The Capuchins, who often worked among the peasantry and urban poor, and the Piarists, who taught their children, attracted many gifted young men from the lower classes.

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