Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Fraticelli (Fratres Minores, Little Brothers) was originally the name which the people gave to the Franciscans (q.v.). It was next applied to the stricter section of that order; but it was ultimately used to designate a party of seceders from the Roman Church. Pope Celestine V. granted to the Fraticelli a separate organisation; but Boniface VIII. suppressed them. Thereupon they declared the Head of the Church an apostate. They gained strength by further secessions, and rejected all attempts at conciliation. They refused to recognise the authority of the Church, and held peculiar doctrines - such as the unlawfulness of oaths, and the forfeiture of spiritual authority through sin. They suffered much persecution, and continued to exist till the end of the 15th century. In 1374 there was a public discussion at Perugia between them and Paolucci, a Franciscan monk. The Fraticelli paid almost divine honours to St. Francis, but were supposed to accept the works of Joachim of Flora, a Benedictine, as their gospel.