One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A nun of the Third Order of Servite nuns, founded in Florence by St Juliana Falconieri (1270–1341), who devote themselves to the care of the sick and poor and the education of children. Usually in plural.
Mid 19th century. From Italian mantellata from mantello cloak + -ata, with reference to the nuns' distinctive short-sleeved habits.
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