Known as the Order of Friars Preacher, O.P., the Dominicans were mendicant evangelists, founded in 1216 by St. Dominic, who petitioned Rome for recognition of his order.
The Dominicans were active in combating heresy. They stressed learning which they deemed necessary for intelligent preaching and for rational theological debate, preferring to convert by persuasion, rather than by force. Consistent with their emphasis on education, the Dominicans were heavily involved in the development of universities, including Oxford and Cambridge.
They were relative late-comers, arriving in England in the middle of the thirteenth century. They had around 60 houses, although little remains of any of them, today. Their most famous brother was the scholar, St. Thomas Aquinas.
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