Who are the Dominicans? The simple answer is that Dominican friars are men who love God, whose lives are shaped by the Lord’s final exhortation to his disciples: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19). The more complete answer has taken eight hundred years in the telling, since St. Dominic first founded the Order of Preachers in 1216, and is still being told today.
While the whole nature of the Order is too much to tell here, there are some vantage points from which the living contours of the Order of Preachers come into view. The first of these is a brief sketch of the founding of the Dominicans; the second, the Rule of St. Augustine, the text from which the Dominican life takes its spiritual pattern; the third, the Fundamental Constitution, the summation of the unchanging heart of the Order; and the fourth, the following of Christ as outlined in the Constitutions of the Order of Preachers, as a harmony of common life, liturgy and prayer, religious consecration, study, and the ministry of the Word.