from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • The name which St. Francis of Assisi gave to his followers, early in the 13th century.
  • A sect which seceded from the Franciscan Order, chiefly in Italy and Sicily, in 1294, repudiating the pope as an apostate, maintaining the duty of celibacy and poverty, and discountenancing oaths. Called also Fratricellians and Fraticelli.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The common designation of a body of reformed Franciscans authorized by Pope Celestine V. in 1294, under the name of Poor Hermits, who afterward defied the authority of the popes, rejected the sacraments, and held that Christian perfection consists in absolute poverty. They were severely persecuted, but continued as a distinct sect until the fifteenth century. Also Fraticelli.


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