Catholic Dictionary




Traditional title of the men religious of the Benedictine and Cistercian orders. An abbreviation of Dominus (Lord), it originally applied to the Pope, bishops, and finally to monks. In Italy "Don" is used for all clerics except mendicant friars and clerks regular. The form "Dan" was used in medieval English, and "Monsieur" has been customary in France. (Etym. Latin dominus, master.)