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Vestis angelica.

It was a custom of the early English church for pious laymen to be carried in the hour of death to some monastery, that they might be clothed in the habit of the religious order, and might die amid the prayers of the brotherhood. The garment thus assumed was known as the Vestis Angelica. See Moroni: Dizionario di Erudizione Storico-Ecclesiastica, II. 78; XCVI. 212.

Gather, gather! Stand
Round her on either hand!
O shining angel-band
More pure than priest!
A garment white and whole
Weave for this passing soul,
Whose earthly joy and dole
Have almost ceased.

Weave it of mothers' prayers,
Of sacred thoughts and cares,
Of peace beneath gray hairs,
Of hallowed pain;

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Dizionario Di Erudizione Storico (1)
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