friar

friar [Lat. frater = brother], member of certain Roman Catholic religious orders, notably, the Dominicans, Franciscans, Carmelites, and Augustinians. Although a general form of address in the New Testament, since the 13th cent. it has been used to describe members of orders forbidden to hold property. They are called mendicants because they were expected to work or, as later developed, beg for a living and were not bound to a particular monastery. The Council of Trent loosened the restriction on property ownership. Friars differ from cloistered, contempletive monks by their widespread outside activity and by their highly centralized organization. See monasticism.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on friar from Fact Monster:

  • Augustinians - Augustinians Augustinians, religious order in the Roman Catholic Church. The name derives from the ...
  • Bartholomew de Glanville - Bartholomew de Glanville Bartholomew de Glanville or Bartholomaeus Anglicus, fl. c.1250, English ...
  • Capuchins - Capuchins Capuchins [Ital.,=hooded ones], Roman Catholic religious order of friars, one of the ...
  • Franciscans - Franciscans Franciscans , members of several Roman Catholic religious orders following the rule of ...
  • tertiary - tertiary tertiary , in the Roman Catholic Church, member of a third order. The third orders are ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Roman Catholic Orders and Missions