'Gulielmites' or 'Hermits of St. William'. Monastic order, founded second half 12th century by the disciples of the hermit Guilielmus de Malavalle in Toscana.
At first the monks aimed to live a hermit's life following the severe guidelines of Guilielmus. In the first half of the 13th century the pope prescribed them the Rule of St. Benedictus and the constitutiones of the cistercians. The monks lived together in priories without an abbot; the rank of abbot was considered too wealthy. The prior was chosen from their midst. Most of the communities were as small as 5-10 monks.
In the 13th century the order consisted of ca 50 settlements. During
the 15th and 16th century the Italian part of the order disappeared
and the German part was reduced strongly by the Reformation. However,
in Flanders, Brabant, the diocese of Luik and northern France it
remained full of vitality.
The order was disbanded around the mid 19th century, when the last Wilhelmiet in the world (a monk from Huijbergen) died.
Though in Germany the Wilhelmietenorder merged into the Augustijner heremieten, in the Low Countries it remained an independent order, following the monastic liturgy.
|Aalst, Domus S. Ursmari / O.L.Vrouwe ter Sterre|
|Bevere, Domus S. Trinitatis|
|Biervliet (Zeeuw-Vlaanderen), ?|
|Bornem, Priorij van het H. Kruis|
|Brugge, St. Antoniusdal, transferred from Watervliet in 1376|
|Ferrières (near Hoei), Bernardfagne O.L.Vrouw (monastery dedicated to the virgin Mary)|
|'s Hertogenbosch, Baseldonck or Porta Caeli|
|Luik, Motta S. Guilhelmi or Notre Dame de la Motte|
|Nijvel, Domus S. Catharine|
|Vloesberg, Berg der H. Maagd|
|Walincourt (near Cambrai), Wilhelmietenklooster|
|Watervliet, O.L.Vrouwe ter Woestijne, from 1248 to 1376, then moved to Brugge|
In Kalmthout was a refugee house from 1649 to 1652. In Turnhout in the 17th century lived some Guillelmites who had fled from 's Hertogenbosch.
|De orde van de Wilhelmieten in België|
|J. Verschaeren: De kloosters van de Wilhelmieten in België. Studiedag Belgische kloostergeschiedenis, 19 november 1997. Akten / Journée d'études sur l'histoire des couvents belges, 19 novembre 1997. Actes (Brussel, ARA 1998)|
|A. Franken: Turnhout en het Wilhelmietenklooster in Huijbergen, in: Taxandria. Jaarboek van de Koninklijke geschied- en oudheidkundige kring van de Antwerpse Kempen, 1998, nieuwe reeks LXXX, pp. 85-91|
|Some minor publications of the Wilhelmietenmuseum Huijbergen|