Frati Minori

The most prominent group is the Order of Friars Minor (commonly called simply the “Franciscans”). They seek to follow most directly the manner of life the Saint led. This Order—actually divided among three separate groups—is a mendicant religious order of men tracing their origin to Francis of Assisi. The three separate groups, each considered a religious order in its own right, are the Observants, most commonly simply called “Franciscan friars,” the Capuchins, and the Conventual Franciscans. They all live according to a body of regulations known as “The Rule of St. Francis”.

The modern organization of the Friars Minor now comprises three separate branches: the ‘Friars Minor’ (OFM); the ‘Friars Minor Conventual‘ (OFM Conv), and the ‘Friars Minor Capuchin‘ (OFM Cap).

The women who comprise the “Second” Order of the movement are most commonly called Poor Clares in English-speaking countries. The order is called the “Order of St. Clare” (O.S.C.).

The Third Order, or Third Order of Penance, has tens of thousands of members, as it includes both men and women, both living in religious communities under the traditional religious vows, as well as those who live regular lives in society, while trying to live the ideals of the movement in their daily lives.

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