Definition for BE-GHARDS', or BE-GUARDS'


A religious order of St. Francis in Flanders, established at Antwerp in 1228, and so named from St. Begghe, their patroness. They at first employed themselves in making linen cloth, united in bonds of charity, without any rule; but in 1290, they embraced that of the third order of St. Francis. The name has been transferred to all the other religious of the convent of Antwerp. – Encyc.

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