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St Dominic
The Dominican Order

This is just a short and basic account. A more complete treatment
can be found on the web-site of the English Dominican Province


Saint Dominic and the Dominicans

      StDominicWThe Dominicans are a religious order (انجمن) of the Catholic Church. The men and women of the order follow a common rule of life which was inspired by Saint Dominic who founded the order in 1216. While travelling in the south of France, Saint Dominic encountered the Albigensian sect which held that matter was evil and only the spirit good. Such a view is contrary to the Christian belief in the goodness of creation and that in Jesus the Word of God became flesh and blood. Saint Dominic saw the need for thinking Christians, living simple lives, ready and eager to bring people the authentic teaching of Jesus and oppose ideas that destroy and empty lives of meaning. The group which he founded came to be called Dominicans, after their founder Saint Dominic, but the official title of the Order is "The Order of Preachers."


 The Dominican Vocation


School2W         The brothers and sisters of the Order normally live in community, in convents (دیر ) where they share a life of prayer and study. They are not monks (تارک دنیا ) as they do not belong to one particular monastery but rather live and carry the message of Jesus in the manner of the apostles of the early Church. The Order then is dedicated to the mission entrusted to the early apostles of preaching the message that the Kingdom of God is among us. This preaching may take a variety of forms depending on the situation of those to whom they go. It calls for a life of prayer and study, which is summed up in the latin motto of the Dominican Order "Contemplata aliis tradere" which translates "to give to others the fruit of contemplation." The motto is drawn from the writings of the Dominican theologian Saint Thomas Aquinas who saw such a life as being the very kind of life chosen by Christ himself. So the Dominican wishes to dedicate himself to the study of the Gospel message in all its forms so as to live and work as an apostle of Jesus.


The Dominican Family

        BrunoEWAll the groups of men and women who are associated with the Order make up the Dominican Family. This family is made up of Dominican Nuns (contemplatives living a monastic life), Friars (برادران - brothers and priests), Sisters (who carry out a wide variety of work in the Church) , and lay (groups of men and women who follow the Rule of the Lay Fraternities of St Dominic). To-day the Dominicans are a worldwide order, united by the spirit of St Dominica under the Master of the Order who is based in the convent of Santa Sabina in Rome.



The Dominicans in Iran

        stairsThe Dominicans have a long history in Iran which is described in the history section of this site. Briefly, the Dominicans first came to Iran in the in 1247, sent by the pope on a diplomatic mission to the Mongol Khans. By 1320 the Dominicans report that they had established 3 houses in north western Iran. From Iran an Armenian Dominican Province was founded in Nakhchivan to the north. At its height this Province had 700 Dominicans, living in 50 convents. The Italian Dominicans were present in Isfahan from 1664 to 1743, the English Dominicans in Shiraz in 1933 and the Irish Dominicans came to Tehran in 1962.

Dominicans Across the Centuries

        There have been many famous Dominicans throughout the history of the Order - so many, it is indeed impossible to give a complete list. In the early days there were such individuals as Albert the Great, Thomas Aquinas, the mystics Eckhart and Tauler, later Catherine of Siena, Bartholeme de Las Casas and Martin de Porres, in more recently times such intellectual giants as the scripture scholar Lagrange, theologians Schillebeeckx and Congar, and in still more recent days such people as the brave-heart and martyr of inter-religious dialogue Bishop Pierre Claverie.


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 LangrangeEW  CongarEW  ClaverieEW

        The Dominican Order which has inherited the spirit of Dominic, the rule of the Order, a great tradition of study and ministry, continues to-day to be a community of brothers and sisters striving to do the work of the Lord, a work as urgent now as it was in the days of Dominic.