St Gilbert of Sempringham

(c. 1083—1189) monastic reformer

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founder of the Gilbertine Order. As parish priest at Sempringham in Lincolnshire, he encouraged seven women to adopt a rule of life founded on a Cistercian model and received their profession. Lay brothers and sisters were soon associated with them, and their numbers grew. The Cistercians having declined to govern communities of women, Gilbert entrusted their direction to Augustinian Canons; the communities then took the form of double monasteries. Feast day, 4 Feb.

Subjects: Christianity.

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