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 ?
Erasmus implies that the mendicant friars of his day are a degenerate lot: they behave like "robbers boasting about the proceeds of their forays" (snaphanum ex praedationum reditu iactantem sese).
Imagination is a prerequisite of all liberation, says Roepie, and as such the mendicant friars are a functional device in the novel as well as in the lives of the author and his fictional alter ego.
An epilogue deals with the mendicant friars (both Franciscans and Dominicans) in their urban context.
The use of mendicant friars to preach the Crusade enhanced papal leadership, but there were those who resented the friars as well.
From the thirteenth century onward, mendicant friars spread out to every corner of the peninsula and the adjacent islands, establishing their convents and preaching their message.
The late Robert Brentano examines the interaction of the countryside and the city in terms of the mendicant friars who lived in and moved between both worlds.
Even the wandering mendicant friars find a parallel in some of the dissenting clergy of the seventeenth century.
The obligation to preach and practice poverty was restricted to a carefully selected and trained group of men who, like mendicant friars, were also chaste, recited prayers at fixed times during the day, and lived under obedience (the younger to the older master when traveling in pairs on the preaching circuits; all to the four governors elected in their annual synod/chapter).
Even if they did not formally become tertiaries, communities of beguines often placed themselves under the moral supervision and pastoral care of the mendicant friars.
Once aware of the overly enthusiastic nod to the mendicant friars associated with these church complexes, the reader can then securely enjoy Edgerton's expertly-guided tour through a relatively unknown but fascinating world.
In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the merchant bourgeoisie had allied with the mendicant friars, whose preaching focused their lay audiences' attention so exclusively on matters of private morality that every possibility of social and religious protest was effectively foreclosed.
It was the mendicant friars who promoted many of their cults, with a tendency, as Andre Vauchez has pointed out, to favor women over men.