A member of a Roman Catholic order of hospitallers, now known as Alexians, dedicated to the care of the sick and the mentally infirm. Frequently attributive or as adjective Compare Alexian .
The Cellites were founded in Flanders in the 14th century; they subsequently adopted St Alexius as their patron saint and became known as the Alexian fathers. See also the note in etymology at "Lollard".
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in John Bale (1495–1563), bishop of Ossory, evangelical polemicist, and historian. From post-classical Latin cellita monk who lives in a cell from classical Latin cella + -īta, so called either on account of the cells which they inhabited or on account of their practice of burying the dead.