Definition of Franciscan in English:



  • A friar, sister, or lay member of a Christian religious order founded in 1209 by St Francis of Assisi or based on its rule, and noted for its preachers and missionaries.

    • ‘This was matched by a spiritual resurgence which we see very much in what was known as ‘the observant reform’ which was a reform of the mendicant orders like the Franciscans and the Dominicans.’
    • ‘Expressions of ecstatic, unmediated emotional identification with a sacred figure were common in the art of the mendicant orders in general and in that of the Franciscans in particular.’
    • ‘In order to fulfill a wider role, to preach and teach, the Franciscans needed books, churches, and convents.’
    • ‘The influence of the newly recognized Franciscans and Dominicans is evident; that of the Cistercians is manifest through a long set of Ave prayers at the end of the Psalter.’
    • ‘In central Bosnia, just after the war, a priest showed me a two-sided bronze cross, high on a hill, erected by the Franciscans.’
    • ‘The Benedictines and Franciscans were also represented by both priests and nuns.’
    • ‘The Franciscans, or Friars Minor, came to York c.1230; their first custodian had been personally associated with Francis of Assisi.’
    • ‘He died of the plague between June and September 1596, after having declared in his testament that he wished to be buried in the church of the Franciscans of Laon.’
    • ‘Unlike the other mendicant orders founded in the thirteenth century, the Franciscans were blessed, and burdened, by having a profoundly charismatic founder.’
    • ‘Christian outposts founded by Dominicans, Franciscans, and Augustinians grew into towns.’
    • ‘At the age of 39 he entered the Order of Franciscans.’
    • ‘Being a member of the third order of Franciscans, she prays the Rosary and other religious prayers every day.’
    • ‘For instance the Franciscans and Dominicans are known to have popularised the practice with the laity as early as the eleventh century.’
    • ‘The Franciscans wore gray, blue or brown habits and cowls made of coarse fabric, with simple ropes for belts.’
    • ‘His influence endures to this day and his followers, Franciscans of every walk of life, are often involved in environmental action.’
    • ‘The new mendicant orders of Franciscans and Dominicans encouraged individual piety and with it the beginnings of affective religion - the empathetic experience of Christ's Passion through private meditation and prayer.’
    • ‘A mendicant order of friars who preferred practical application of their beliefs to theological debate, the Franciscans served the Church as protectors of the Indians.’
    • ‘Furthermore, the universities quickly became a locus of conflict between the regular clergy and the newer mendicant orders, especially the Dominicans and the Franciscans.’
    • ‘By the 13 th century the older Benedictine monasteries had to compete with new orders such as the Dominicans and Franciscans.’
    • ‘This was a time when the Franciscans and Dominicans ran Arabic-speaking theological colleges in both Marrakech and Tunis and appointed their own bishops to North African dioceses.’

Divergences of practice led to the separation of the Friars Minor of the Observance (the Observants) and the Friars Minor Conventual (the Conventuals) in 1517, and to the foundation of the stricter Friars Minor Capuchin (the Capuchins) in 1529. The order of Franciscan nuns was founded by St Clare (c.1212) under the direction of St Francis; they are known as ‘Poor Clares’


  • Relating to or denoting St Francis or the Franciscans.

    • ‘Scientists are using brain imaging to pinpoint the circuits that are active and connecting when Tibetan Buddhists meditate and Franciscan nuns pray.’
    • ‘The city is home to an enormous pyramid, and an equally oversized Franciscan convent, completed in 1562, which is still a pilgrimage destination for those coming to pray to the Lady of Izamal.’
    • ‘All Franciscans would have said they believed in the absolute poverty of Christ and the Apostles, and that Franciscan poverty was founded on the attempt to imitate this evangelical poverty.’
    • ‘And you can buy your vegetables from a local market spread out below 13 th-century Franciscan cloisters.’
    • ‘During this uprising, known as the Pueblo Revolt, the Indians took the lives of Franciscan priests and Spanish soldiers and then besieged Santa Fe for several days.’
    • ‘Formation provided a hands-on experience to see if Franciscan life is really for him.’
    • ‘Over the centuries, the Friars Minor experienced many distinctions and reorganizations based on their understanding of the Franciscan way of life.’
    • ‘On the face of it, this seems an entirely legitimate objection, and even one that might be thought to be in sympathy with Franciscan ideals.’
    • ‘So as one Franciscan priest pointed out to me, there's the sanctity of the stones of the church.’
    • ‘The image of the non-utilitarian garden gives expression to some central Franciscan doctrines involving nature and the various life forms included under its general purview.’
    • ‘A number of Franciscan saints are also depicted on the ceiling of the apse.’
    • ‘‘I do think about leaving,’ said a 30-year old Franciscan seminary student.’
    • ‘Originally dedicated to Corpus Domini, the unusual design of the choir of the nuns in clausura, allowing visibility of the host during mass, is emphasised here, together with the Angevin dynasty's strong links with Franciscan piety.’
    • ‘The veneration of the Virgin had been long a part of Franciscan practice, and the Jesuits would be one of the most fervent supporters of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.’
    • ‘He spent more than a year living with Franciscan friars working in impoverished areas all over the world, including India, Jamaica, and the United States.’
    • ‘The enquiry dragged on four years until, with the Pope and his court becoming increasingly hostile to Franciscan austerity, William fled by night to join a secular opponent of the papacy.’
    • ‘There may be, indeed, a tendency in this exhibition to overinterpret works through the lens of Franciscan patronage and production.’
    • ‘So we consider this symbol of our Franciscan life a true expression of the life of St. Francis, as well as a reminder to us of our own Christian call and sincerity of response.’
    • ‘A love of God's creation is also a major emphasis in Franciscan spirituality; particularly in Franciscan prayer.’
    • ‘There exists no concept such as ‘weed’ for the gardeners of this Franciscan plot, nor are its plants distinguished markedly from the wild plant communities surrounding it.’


From French franciscain, from modern Latin Franciscanus, from Franciscus ‘Francis’.