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 ?
It may also be that he could not resist using the colorful and suggestive word because of its literal meaning: "snatching cocks" aptly describes the behavior of mendicant friars.
Very properly the author begins with the advent of the Christian faith, absorbing pagan survivals, then she shows not merely the failure of the Reformation but also the resistance of Ulster to the Counter-Reformation by adherence to local devotional rituals, patron saints, and a preference for the ministrations of the mendicant friars rather than those of the diocesan clergy.
This new sensibility rejected the pessimism spawned by the re-embrace of Augustinian rationalism by Counter-Reformation Catholic elites, favoring instead an optimistic assessment of the efficacy of penance which looked backward toward the pastoral strategies devised by the mendicant friars (Franciscans and Dominicans) during the later Middle Ages.
Beckmann investigated, among other subjects, the aim of some mendicant friars, who--after failing to establish authentic Christianity in Latin America--tried to do so in China.
Only now is it possible for him to visit Cracow, the city where he, like Fernand in his letters, situates the headquarters of a group of mendicant friars, an unrecognizable organization that dominates the world, infiltrates all places of power, and is responsible for all evil - a concoction of the author and his alter ego to make all their fears concrete.
In Wycliffite writings `Calm's castles' signifies the illicit property of the mendicant friars (CAIM being an acronym for the four orders).
In the Middle Ages many of the mendicant friars who went about the countryside preaching the gospel were not ordained.
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.
Within its narrow compass, this book ably treats the large issue of mendicant friars and the cross in the thirteenth century.
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.