Word of the Day - Friday, January 19th

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Abbe (AB-ay)

Title for lower-ranking Catholic clergymen in France

Common clues: French clergy; Cannes cleric; Cleric title

Crossword puzzle frequency: 3 times a year

Frequency in English language: 39403 / 86800

Abbé (from Latin abbas, in turn from Greek αββας = abbas father, from Aramaic abba) is the French word for abbot. It is the title for lower-ranking Catholic clergymen in France.

A concordat passed between Pope Leo X and Francis I of France (between 1515 and 1521), gave the kings of France the right to nominate 255 Abbés commendataires for almost all French abbeys, who received income from a monastery without needing to render a service.

Francis I and Pope Leo X

Since the mid-16th century, the title abbé has been used for all young clergymen with or without consecration. Their cloths consisted of a black or dark violet robes with a small collar; they were tonsured.

Since those abbés only rarely commanded an abbey, they often worked in honourable familes as tutors, spiritual directors, etc.; others became writers.


This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Abbé".