The Dominican Order
An order is a group of people giving themselves fully to God as a gift having pronounced vows of fidelity until death. Many orders have been founded during the history of the Church. In the thirteenth century, Saint Dominic, choosing the Rule of Saint Augustine, introduced a new way to live fully the following of Christ in order to give all his strength to announcing the Good News, that is to say in order to preach the Gospel and its message of salvation. Thus the Order of Preachers was born (in latin Ordo Praedicatorum, abbreviated OP) which is also called the Dominican Order. This order includes: nuns, who lead a life of contemplative prayer and intercession in cloistered monasteries; friar preachers dedicated to the proclamation of the Gospel and to living in convents grouped in provinces; apostolic religious and laity united to the Order by religious vows or commitments. The unity of the Order is ensured by a Master of the Order, the elected Successor of Saint Dominic, and by general chapters, which meet regularly to amend or to supplement the legislation of the Order and to encourage the lives of its members.