We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Mendicant?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated Mar 06, 2024
Our promise to you
PublicPeople is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At PublicPeople, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A mendicant is someone who relies on charity and goodwill for survival, soliciting donations of money, food, and supplies from generous members of the public. Basically, a mendicant is a beggar, except that the word “mendicant” does not have the negative associations linked with begging, and mendicants are usually members of religious orders or religious ascetics who have taken a vow of poverty. This is in sharp contrast with true beggars, who generally do not choose a life of poverty for themselves.

The mendicant tradition in many religions is ancient. Mendicants exist in most religions for several reasons. The first is that many religions have a tradition of charity and almsgiving, and therefore, devout individuals need to have subjects for their charity. Many religions also reserve a special place for ascetics who devote their lives to religious contemplation, and pious individuals may receive special praise for supporting members of their own religion who have taken vows of poverty. Mendicants, therefore, are an important part of religious practice.

When someone becomes a mendicant, he or she takes a vow of poverty, agreeing to own no property behind basic garments and a begging bowl, and in some religions, even a begging bowl is forbidden. Any property which the mendicant controls is typically given to the Church or Temple when this vow is taken, and mendicants also agree to give up any claims on inheritance. Once a mendicant has taken vows, he or she may live with other mendicants in a monastery, or he or she may become a wanderer, traveling to talk about religion and faith. Other mendicants may choose to live in seclusion to contemplate religious issues.

Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam all have a place for mendicants, and many have specific times of the year when mendicants are supposed to be celebrated and supported. In Christianity, several mendicant orders including the Franciscans and the Carmelites are alive and well all over the world, relying on charity as they have done for centuries. Some of these Christian mendicant orders are allowed to maintain living quarters in common, although the property usually officially belongs to the Church.

Becoming a mendicant is a profound expression of religious faith. As a general rule, rejecting the life of a mendicant after embracing it is frowned upon, making this choice a lifetime decision for the religious faithful. The mendicant life certainly isn't for everyone; relying on charity can be very difficult, especially for people who are used to orderly lives and access to a wide variety of goods and services.

PublicPeople is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a PublicPeople researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Read more
PublicPeople, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

PublicPeople, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.