1. One of an order of Italian monks, established in 1524, expressly to oppose reformation, and to raise the tone of piety among roman Catholics. They hold no property, nor do they beg, but depend on what providence sends. Their chief employment is preaching and giving religious instruction.
Their name is derived from Theate, or Chieti, a city of Naples, the archbishop of which was a principal founder of the order; but they bore various names; as, regular Clerks of the community, Pauline monks, Apostolic Clerks, and Regular Clerks of the divine providence. The order never flourished much out of Italy.
2. One of an order of nuns founded by ursula Benincasa, who died in 1618.
Origin: F. Theatin, It. Theatino.