Mendicant Orders

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Mendicant Orders


Catholic monastic orders whose members had to take a vow of poverty and renounce all worldly goods.

Most of the mendicant orders were formed in the 13th century, at a time when anticlerical heretical teachings were fairly widespread. The first of the mendicant orders was the Franciscan Order, founded by Francis of Assisi. Noting the popularity of the ideals of “evangelical poverty,” the papacy sought to use mendicant orders as a means of discouraging the masses of believers from participation in heretical movements and as a means of consolidating its influence and political stature. In 1210, Pope Innocent III approved the founding of the Franciscan Order. In 1216 the mendicant order of the Dominicans was approved; in 1245 (or 1247) the Carmelites, who had been active since the second half of the 12th century, were reorganized into a mendicant order. In 1256 small monastic congregations were united into the mendicant order of the Augustinians. Other mendicant orders, including the Brothers of Charity and the Servants of St. Mary, were formed later. In the 13th century the Dominicans and, to a certain extent, the Franciscans were placed in charge of the Inquisition. In the late 13th century members of mendicant orders undertook missionary work.

By placing the process of establishing mendicant orders under its control, the papacy, as it were, sanctioned certain ideas advanced by popular heresies. The charters of the mendicant orders provided for the renunciation of any personal property or permanent residence; members of the orders were obliged to live solely on alms. However, the principle of mendicancy was systematically violated from the earliest days of the mendicant orders. By the 13th century the mendicant orders were hardly distinguishable from other monastic orders.

References in periodicals archive ?
Giles seems to have become convinced, even in those early days, that the wild theories of the radical Franciscans represented a threat not only to the mendicant orders, including his own Augustinian Hermits, but also to the stability of the entire Church militant.
As the editor of these papers rightly remarks, preaching by and to members of monastic communities in the later Middle Ages has received relatively little scholarly study, especially in comparison with that devoted to the mendicant orders.
Between them, the two leading mendicant orders, through their extensive patronage at this time, contributed to a revolution in art which was no less momentous than that in religious behaviour.
At the same time, the mendicant orders, established in chairs in the faculty of the University of Paris, still encountered resistance and even attack by the secular masters of the University.
They adorn the buildings of the lords of Verona from 1277-1386, the Scaligers, and show the family's firm allegiance to the mendicant orders as opposed to the papal powers.
For students of religious studies and Irish history, this volume on mendicant orders during the middle ages examines the lives of these organizations and their members from religious, social, and practical viewpoints.
Building Colonial Cities of God: Mendicant Orders and Urban Culture in New Spain.
Rivers argues that the mendicant orders inherited from the early Middle Ages both simple mnemonic techniques of rhetorical practice and a tradition of monastic meditation based on memory images.
The Augustinian Hermits have not always received the same scholarly attention as the other mendicant orders.
Gustav Medicus likewise complements his up-to-date scholarly assessment of Giotto's achievement (including issues of attribution) with insightful correlations between the artist's understanding of human nature and the aims of contemporary mendicant orders, and in his entry on Duccio di Buoninsegna be brings to life the scene in which Duccio's great Maesta altarpiece was brought to the cathedral in Siena: "all shops were closed, and contemporary documents describe a magnificent procession, amid the ringing of all the bells in the city, of church dignitaries, government magistrates, drummers and trumpeters, and the general populace of Siena, leading the altarpiece from Duccio's studio down to and around the town square, and up the hill to the cathedral" (310).
This global mission was to be carried out through the office of bishops, mendicant orders, and political institutions, which could be designated by the pope as instruments within the mission of God.
He cites the historical example of the infection known as the "imperial papacy" in the thirteenth century and the counterbalance to that over-centralizing impetus in the emergence of the mendicant orders and the universities.