Boni Homines

Name of several religious orders of the Middle Ages.

The Boni Homines of Grammont were founded in France in the 11th century by Saint Stephen of Muret. They followed the rule of Saint Augustine or of Saint Benedict. Favored by the kings of England, then rulers of Normandy, they spread throughout the north of France. Their oldest monastery, erected at Vincennes by Louis VII, 1164, passed in the 16th century to the Minims who also received the name of Bonshommes.

The Fratres Saccati, or Brothers of Penitence, established in Saragossa and Valenciennes in the 12th century, and introduced into England, 1257, were also known as Boni Homines or Bones-homes. Their monastery at Ashridge was seized by Henry VIII and granted to the Egertons, afterwards earls and dukes of Bridgewater. Through the influence of the Black Prince, another English house of the order was erected at Edington, Wiltshire.

The Portuguese Boni Homines, or Secular Canons of Saint John, were founded in the 15th century by John of Vicenza. They had fourteen houses in Portugal, took charge of all the royal hospitals, and labored as missionaries in India and Ethiopia.

Some heretical sects, such as the teachers of the Cathari or Albigenses, adopted the name Boni Homines.

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