The Order of the Most Holy Trinity (Trinitarians) is a religious family founded by the Frenchman John of Matha (1154-1213) with its own Rule, approved by Innocent III on December 17, 1198 with the bull Operante Divine Dispositionis. It is the first official institution in the Church dedicated to the service of redemption and unarmed, with no other weapon beside mercy, and with the only purpose of returning hope to the brothers in the faith who suffer under the yoke of captivity.
With profoundly evangelic features, John of Matha founded a new and original project of religious life in the Church which connects the Trinity and redemption of captives: The Order is Order of the Most Holy trinity and of the redemption of Captives, the houses of the Order are houses of the Holy trinity for the redemption of Captives, and the brothers of John of Matha are brothers of the Holy trinity and of the redemption of Captives.
The Rule written by John of Matha is the beginning and foundation of the Trinitarian Order. Adapted through the eight hundred years by tradition, and principally by the spirit and work of the Reformer John Baptist of the Conception, it is developed in the Trinitarian Constitutions approved by the Holy See.
Trinitrian tradition considers St. Felix of Valois cofounder of the Order and companion of John of Matha in the desert of Cerfroid, near Paris. In Cerfroid the first Trinitarian community was established and it is considered the mother house of the whole Order.