The History of Leith

February 26, 2011

The Preceptory of St Anthony

Their church, burying-ground, and gardens were in St, Anthony’s Wynd, an alley off the Kirkgate; and the first community was brought from St Anthony of Vienne, the seat of the order in France,
They were formed in honour of St Anthony, the patriarch of monks, who was bom at Coma, a village of Heraclea on the borders of Arcadia, in A.D. 251, and whose sister was placed in the first convent that is recorded in history. A hermit by habit, he dwelt long in the ruins of an old castle that overlooked the Nile; and after his death (said to have been in 356) his body was deposited in the church of La Motte St. Didier, at Vienne, when, according to old traditions, those labouring under the pest known as St Anthony’s Fire a species of erysipelas—were miraculously cured by praying at his shrine.
Gaston, a noble of Vienne, and his son Gironde filled with awe, we are told, by these wonderful cures, devoted their lives and estates to found a hospital for those who laboured under this disease, and seven others joined them in their attendance on the sick; and on these Hospitaller Brethren Boniface VIII. bestowed the Benedictine Priory
of Vienne, giving them the rules of St Austin, and declaring the Abbot General of this new order— the Canons Regular of St. Anthony. The superiors of the subordinate preceptories were called commanders,
says Alban Butler, ” and their houses are called Their church, burying-ground, and gardens were in St, Anthony’s Wynd, an alley off the Kirkgate; and the first community was brought from St Anthony of Vienne, the seat of the order in France,
They were formed in honour of St Anthony, the patriarch of monks, who was bom at Coma, a village of Heraclea on the borders of Arcadia, in A.D. 251, and whose sister was placed in the first convent that is recorded in history. A hermit by habit, he dwelt long in the ruins of an old castle that overlooked the Kile; and after his death (said to have been in 356) his body was deposited in the church of La Motte St. Didier, at Vienne, when, according to old traditions, those labouring under the pest known as St Anthony’s Fire a species of erysipelas—were miraculously cured by praying at his shrine.
Gaston, a noble of Vienne, and his son Gronde filled with awe, we are told, by these wonderful cures, devoted their lives and estates to found a hospital for those who laboured under this disease, and seven others joined them in their attendance on the sick; and on these Hospitaller Brethren Boniface VIII. bestowed the Benedictine Priory
of Vienne, giving them the rules of St Austin, and declaring the Abbot General of this new order—the Canons Regular of St. Anthony. The superiors of the subordinate preceptories were called commanders,
says Alban Butler, ” and their houses are called commanderies, as when they were Hospitallers.

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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