Confraternities of Penitents

Congregations with statutes prescribing deeds of penance and mercy, fasting, wearing rough garments, visiting the sick, burying the dead, dowering young girls, assisting prisoners, especially when condemned to death. They are classified by the color of the garb worn for processions and devotional exercises, as White, Grey, Blue, Black, Red, VIolet, Green. They flourished chiefly in Italy, France, and Spain between the 13th and 16th centuries.

New Catholic Dictionary

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