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The Barnabites, or Clerics Regular of Saint Paul (Latin: Clericorum Regularium S. Pauli, abbr. C.R.S.P.) is a Roman Catholic order. It was founded in 1530 by three Italian noblemen: St. Anthony Maria Zaccaria, Venerable Barthelemy Ferrari , and Venerable Jacopo Morigia , and approved by Pope Clement VII in the brief Vota per quae vos in 1533. Later approvals gave it the status of an order, but it is still normally referred to as a congregation. Both the date and the vocation place it among the orders associated with the Counter-Reformation. The name Barnabites was given to them because of the association with the church of St. Barnabus in Milan, which they acquired in 1545. The final constitution was decided by a commission in 1579. This work had been led by St. Charles Borromeus as cardinal protector of the Barnabites. St Charles was not himself a member, but is venerated by the Barnabites as a friend of their order. The present constitution is an updated version dated 1983, which takes into account the changes from the Second Vatican Council. There is a female branch of uncloistered nuns, the Angelics of St Paul and a lay congregation for married people, the Marrieds of St Paul .
As indicated by the official name, their work is inspired by St Paul the Apostle. In addition to activities such as the education of youth, catechizing , giving missions and ministries in prisons and hospitals, the members are required to study St. Paul's Epistles . The garb worn by members is the black soutane (cassock, "tunica talaris") as worn by Milanese priests in the 16th century.
The first missions undertaken by the order were in Italy, France, Savoy, Austria and Bohemia. In the 18th century they started missions in China and Brazil. Today, they have a formal presence in sixteen countries. Among these are Afghanistan, where they have run the Afghan Catholic Mission since 1933, interrupted only while the Taliban regime were in power.
Three Barnabites are counted among the canonized saints: St. Anthony Maria Zaccharia, St. Alexander Sauli and St. Francis Xavier Maria Bianchi , while some others are being investigated for possible canonization, including Venerable Charles Schilling . The order has also numbered several cardinals, the first of these being Giacomo Antonio Morigia , raised to the cardinalate in 1699.
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