The word was originally used to designate those associations formed in the Roman Catholic Church for the pursuit of special religious and ecelesiastical purposes such as the nursing of the sick, the support of the poor, the practise of particular devotions, etc. They do not date earlier than the thirteenth century. The name was subsequently applied to secular associations, such as the Freemasons. The word is only a Latin form of the Anglo-Saxon Brotherhood. In the earliest lectures of the eighteenth century we find the word fraternity alluded to in the following fonnula: How many particular points pertain to a Freemason?
Three: Fraternity, Fidelity, and Taciturnity. What do they represent?
Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth among all Right Masons.
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