A contemplative religious congregation, founded in 1526 by Sister Elizabeth Zwirer (d. 1546), at Einsiedeln, Switzerland
Perpetual Adoration, RELIGIOUS OF THE, a contemplative religious congregation, founded in 1526 by Sister Elizabeth Zwirer (d. 1546), at Einsiedeln, Switzerland, and following the Benedictine rule. At the beginning of the year 1789 they commenced the practice of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament during the day before the closed tabernacle. A lay association was established, the members of which contributed a small sum of money for the expenses of the sanctuary necessitated by perpetual adoration. On May 2, 1798, during the French invasion the sisters were expelled and their monastery ruined. Five years later, after the Concordat of Napoleon, the community returned. Acting on the advice of their confessor, Father Pierre Perrot, the sisters, on January 8, 1846, began the practice of adoration by night as well as by day. In 1852 to signify their devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, they decided to wear a figure of an ostensorium on the breast of their habit. In 1859 Empress Elizabeth of Austria presented the monastery with a magnificent chalice and a reliquary. A new church was opened in 1882, and is adorned with three beautiful paintings, representing the adoration of Christ. The convent at Einsiedeln is the only house of its kind, and has its own novitiate. In 1909 the community numbered 46 professed sisters and 5 novices.