Fratricelli, Fraticelli, or Fratelli

Fratricelli, Fraticelli, Or Fratelli a low Latin or Italians diminutive, denoting fratres minores, little brothers. The term has been applied to so many different sects that its use in writers of the Middle Age is confusing. It was first applied to a sect of Franciscans which arose in Italy sbout the year 1294. It was used as a term of derision, as the greater number of them were apostate monks; and for this reason it was sometimes given to other sects, as the Catharists, Waldenas. etc. When this name was applied to the more rigid of the Franciscans, it was deemed honorable. AS there were many divisions among the Franciscans (q.v.), pope Coelestin V authorized Pet. det Macerata and Pet. de Sempronio to form a new order, who were called Pauperes ememiti Dom. Caelestini, and who obtained permission to live in solitude, as hermits, and to observe the rule of St. Francis in all its rigor. Many of the more ascetic and extravagant monks joined them, who, living according to their own fancies, and making all perfection consist in. poverty, and opposed by the regular Franciscans, were condemned by Boniface VIII (1302), and the inquisitors, were ordered by John XXII (1318) to proceed against them as heretics, which commission they executed with the utunost barbarity. After this, many of them adopted the views of Peter John Oliva de Serigtean, published in his commentary. SEE OLIVA. Thev held thee Roman Church to be Babylon; that thee ruie of St. Francis was observed by Jesus Christ and his apostles. They farctold the reformation of the Church, and the restoration of the true Gospel of Christ. They affirmed that St. Francis was the angel mentioned in Re 14:6; that the Gospel was to be abrogated in 1260, and to give place to a new Gospel, a book published under the name of the abbot Joachim; that the ministers of this reformation were to be barefooted friars. They were repeatedly condemned; and from authentic records it appears that no fewer than two thousand persons were burnt by the Inquisition from 1318 to the time of Innocent VI. These severities were repeated by pope Nicholas V and his successors; nevertheless, they maintained themselves down to the 15th century. — Herzog, Real-Encyklop. 4:562; Mosheim, Ch. Hist. cent. 13, part 2, chapter 2, § 39, notes 86, 87; Hase, Ch. Hist. § 265; Limborch, History of the Inquisition. SEE EVERLASTING GOSPEL; SEE FRANCISCANS.

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