[laura: convent of Mar Saba] (Greek: a passage, alley, avenue, or street; later a set of shops along a street, hence a bazaar)

In the ecclesiastical sense, a series of streets of hermitages clustered around a monastery and the type of life lived by the monks in a laura. In the first usage the term was applied to a section of Palestine where the hermitages founded by Chariton and Sabas were connected with a church. Later the term was applied to the section or quarter of a town in the immediate vicinity of a church or monastery. The type of monastic life followed in the lauras might be called quasi-eremitical or quasi-cenobitic. The monk lived in his own cell and reported at the monastery at stated times for certain community duties. Hence the life partook both of the cenobitic and eremitical. While the laura, and the type of life led there is little in evidence after the 10th century, still as late as 1927, Monsignor d'Herbigny saw several lauras of Oriental monks on the O Holy Mount of Athos.

New Catholic Dictionary

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