Brothers Of Charity, a religious order in the Roman Catholic church, established at Seville by St. John of God in 1540. He hired a house to harbor poor sick persons, in which he provided for them and served them himself with great devotion. This pious work of charity attracted the attention of the whole city, and gradually persons of the same disposition as John came to aid him in his undertaking. His institution was approved by the archbishop, but the members of it had neither rule nor habit, and it did not receive the approval of the pope until after the death of its founder. In 1572 Pius V. gave it the rule and habit of St. Augustine. Maria de' Medici introduced the order into France in 1601. Henry IV. granted it letters patent in 10<>2, and it soon numbered several houses in that kingdom. The hospital La Charite in Paris, and that of Charenton, were the most important. The brothers of charity not only nursed the sick, but were frequently skilful surgeons. In Spain these religious were called brothers of hospitality, and in Italy frate hen, fratelli. They are now almost extinct.
The various orders of brothers hospitallers have been superseded by sisterhoods. - A new religious order of brothers of charity was founded in 1828 by Cardinal Rosmini-Serbati. They possess several flourishing houses in England.