(Berettini). Adherents of RC lay-poverty movement; originated 12th c. in Lombardy; practiced communal poverty as manual laborers; women cared for sick; men helped poor and engaged in soc. activity; refused to bear arms; preached against heresy and abuses in ch.; excommunicated by Lucius III (ca. 10971185; pope 118185) with Waldenses 1184; Innocent III (see Popes, 10) restored them 1201; involvement in wool industry brought them wealth and decline; male branch suppressed 1571; several It. convents survived.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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