Poor Catholics; Pauperes Catholici
Religious mendicant order organized in 1208 to reunite the Waldenses with the Church and to combat the current heresies, especially the Albigensian.
They were formed of a group of reconciled Waldenses and were organized by Pope Innocent Ill along nearly identical lines with the Waldenses with the hope that the latter would be thus more easily won back to the Church.
The organization spread through Southern France and Spain and founded a school at Milan in 1209.
After 1212, however, they began to disintegrate, for they had retained, along with their former customs and habits, some of their heretical tendencies.
In the provinces of Narbonne and Tarragona they were united with the Preaching Friars of Saint Dominic and the Friars Minor of Saint Francis by order of Pope Gregory IX in 1237, and in Milan, by order of Pope Innocent IV, they were incorporated into the Augustinian Hermits in 1256.
New Catholic Dictionary