2.29 What was the spiritual rebirth that happened in the Middle Ages?
In the Middle Ages many people, both religious and lay faithful, started to think about the role of the person of Jesus in their daily lives. In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries many new monasteries and religious orders were established, like the Cistercians, Franciscans and Dominicans.
In the thirteenth century, the study of the faith underwent a revival thanks to well-argued theological debates (Scholasticism). In this intellectual environment, many universities were founded. Also lay movements were founded for people who wanted to lead a life of prayer while living “in the world”.
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This is what the Popes say
In every generation saints are born and bring the creativity of renewal constantly accompanies the Church's history in the midst of the sorrows and negative aspects she encounters on her path. Indeed, century after century, we also see the birth of forces of reform and renewal, because God's newness is inexhaustible and provides ever new strength to forge ahead. This also happened in the 13th century with the birth and the extraordinary development of the Mendicant Orders: an important model of renewal in a new historical epoch. [Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, 13 Jan. 2010]