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Tertiary

A lay person who belongs to the third order in a monastic order, after monks and nuns. Tertiaries entered the Franciscans* in the thirteenth century, the Augustinian Hermits* in 1400, the Dominicans* in 1405, the Servites* in 1424, and the Carmelites* in 1452. They were found also in other orders. Their order was established to permit lay people to participate in the orders' work. They were subject to the order's leadership in inner discipline, but external discipline rested with the bishop alone. Priests in the orders formed chapters of tertiaries who recited an office, underwent novitiate, were bound by discipline, but professed no vows. Tertiaries regular live in a convent. Only the Franciscan tertiaries regular have a separate Rule for themselves.