Before proceeding to know the meaning of the term convent, it is necessary to proceed to discover its etymological origin. In this case, we have to explain that it derives from Latin, exactly from “conventus”, which can be translated as “meeting” or “congregation”. Word that emanates from the verb “convenire”.
It came to Castilian as a convent. This is the name given to the place where religious men or women coexist according to the rules established by their institute.
According to abbreviationfinder.org, a convent, therefore, is a monastery or clergy dwelling. The origin of the term is linked to the assembly where Roman citizens gathered to deal with various judicial or administrative issues. Over time, the concept came to be used with reference to religious life.
Convents are establishments where religious lead a community existence . Those who live in a convent, beyond this choice, maintain a link with those who reside outside the building, unlike what happens with closure regimes.
The construction of convents became frequent from the 13th century, when the cities began to consolidate and the religious wanted to settle in this type of city without moving away from the people. In general, the convents had a church or chapel, a meeting room, a dining room and the different cells of the religious.
The Convento de la Santo Domingo, in the Spanish city of Plasencia, is an example of this class of places. It was created in the fifteenth century, attached to the palace of the counts of Plasencia. The late Gothic-style building is currently the headquarters of the Parador Nacional de Plasencia.
Another example is the Cuilápam Convent, in the Mexican town of Cuilápam de Guerrero. Its construction took place in the 16th century.
It is important to know that there are different types of convents and among them the cloistered ones stand out. In the cloistered convents live the nuns who, among other fundamental norms, have the obligation not to leave those. In addition, there is the circumstance that they should not allow people from outside to enter the convent.
In this way, they are “retired” from the outside, confined and spend their lives within the walls of those convents where they dedicate themselves to praying and working. Above all, the first thing is that this type of convent makes sense because it is considered that the fact of being closed facilitates and favors the existence of a climate of prayer and recollection in which mystical union with God is more possible.
In the world there are many convents of this type that exist, highlighting, for example, that of the Perpetual Adoration that is in Berga (Barcelona) and where the Perpetual Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament reside or that of the Immaculate Conception, which is located in León and that welcomes the Franciscan Conceptionist sisters. That without forgetting that of Santa Clara de Valladolid, where the Carmelitas Descalzas live, or that of Nuestra Señora de la Consolación de Palencia, where the Franciscan Poor Clares reside.