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religious order in the Roman Catholic Church. The name derives from the Rule of St. Augustine (5th cent.?), which established rules for monastic observance and common religious life. The canons regular, made up of ordained clergy, adopted this rule in the 11th cent. and became known as Augustinian, or Austin, canons. Augustinian canons pursue a life of poverty, celibacy, and obedience without withdrawing from the world. Subsequent orders of canons regular, such as the Premonstratensians, are outgrowths of the Augustinians. The Austin friars are an entirely different group of religious, dating from the 13th cent. (see friarfriar
[Lat. frater=brother], member of certain Roman Catholic religious orders, notably, the Dominicans, Franciscans, Carmelites, and Augustinians. Although a general form of address in the New Testament, since the 13th cent.
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). Officially known as Hermits of St. Augustine, they now exist in three independent branches—the Calced Augustinian Hermits, the more austere and less numerous Discalced Augustinian Hermits, and the Recollects of St. Augustine. There are also congregations of women corresponding to both canons and friars.
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Postles finds that there is no simple model to describe what actually occurred at the local level in different areas of England, and he argues that monastic establishments, that is, the regular clergy of large Benedictine houses, the Cistercians, and the Austin canons in towns, continued to maintain a certain allegiance from benefactors into the thirteenth century, although gifts to these institutions became more socially exclusive and the majority of lay benefaction shifted to local parish churches.
She says that Audelay and Mirk were priests who lived close to one another in time and place, and shared an association with the Austin canons. She concludes that whatever the difference between them, the works of both Audelay and Mirk arise within a common medieval culture where true penitence and dying well were important values.
Haughmond Abbey, sometimes referred to as the Abbey of St John the Evangelist, is located only four miles outside Shrewsbury and of the three houses of Austin canons established in Shropshire, Haughmond founded in 1135 by William Fitzalan, is the oldest.
It was built by Austin canons and remained in their hands until the dissolution of the monasteries.

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