The Mendicant (or Begging) Orders are religious orders which depend directly on the charity of the people for their livelihood. In principle they do not own property, either individually or collectively, and have taken a vow of poverty, in order that all their time and energy could be expended on preaching the Gospel and serving the poor.
- Franciscans (Friars Minor), founded 1209
- Carmelites, founded 1206–1214
- Dominicans (Order of Preachers), founded 1215
- Servites (Order of Servants of Mary), founded 1233
- Augustinians (Hermits of St. Augustine), founded 1256
The Second Council of Lyons of 1274 recognized these, bar the Servites, as the four "great" mendicant orders, and suppressed certain others. The Council of Trent loosened the property restrictions on the mendicant orders. Afterwards, except for the Franciscans and their offshoot the Capuchins, members of the orders were permitted to own property collectively as do monks.