religious guilds


These existed in Europe before the rising merchant guilds secured their liberation from the feudal lords, and continued throughout the Middle Ages. Each guild had a peculiar religious purpose; usually manifested by some charitable service. The guild was placed under the patronage of a saint to whom special devotion was paid, and whose festival day became the particular gala day of the guild. The Church encouraged these associations, but it was the members of the guild who personally administered its affairs, such as alms-giving, assistance to those setting out on pilgrimages, repairing churches, and the establishment of tree schools. These religious guilds were comprised of members in all classes of society, rich and poor, clerical and laical, who were thus joined in brotherhood.

MLA Citation

  • “religious guilds”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 8 August 2013. Web. 26 February 2021. <>