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They did not confine themselves to the sanctification of their own members; their maxim was non sibi soli vivere sed et aliis proficere (not to live for themselves only, but to serve others).
At once contemplative and active, to the complete renunciation of all things they joined the exercise of the apostolic ministry, devoting themselves to the evangelization of the masses, and thus introducing another element into monastic life .
23 ( Mansi, XXIV, 96) -- the Order of Preachers, the Friars Minor, the Carmelites, and the Hermits of St. Successively other congregations obtained the privilege of the mendicants. The object of the present article is to outline (I) the origin and characteristics of the mendicants; (II) the opposition which they encountered.
In London, York, Warwick, Oxford, Bristol, Lynn and elsewhere, their convents stood in suburbs and abutted on the city walls".
The work of the mendicants in the pulpit, in the confessional, in the service of the sick and the socially weak, in the foreign missions, had no parallel in the Middle Ages.
A little later John Valdes founded the "Poor Men of Lyons ", soon followed by similar sects.
The movement thus started in France and Italy had spread among the poorer classes at the beginning of the thirteenth century and threatened to become dangerous to the Church.
This same apostolical activity had two consequences, which form further characteristics of the mendicant friars, a new organization of claustrul life and, the adoption of a special means of providing subsistence.