Order founded 1209 by Francis* of Assisi. Their early yrs. were marked by strict poverty, limited use of property, begging, humble service to all, and miss. endeavors; but the order was wracked for more than a c. by disputes about the question of poverty. They produced such theologians as Bonaventura,* J. Duns* Scotus, and W. of Ockham.* Some of its mems. felt the arm of the Inquisition* 1318 for challenging the pope's authority. In 1517 a split took place bet. the stricter faction (Friars Minor proper [Observant]) and the moderate faction (Friars Minor Conventual). The Friars Minor Capuchins* were founded ca. 1528 by an Observant priest; they became one of the most powerful agencies of the Counter* Reformation. The Second Order (Poor Clares; see also Clare of Assisi) was founded 1212. There is also a Third Order (Tertiaries*). See also Barefooted Monks; Conventuals; Mendicant Friars; Observants; Recollects; Sisterhoods; Spirituals, Franciscan.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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