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Conventual Franciscans are sometimes referred to as minorites or greyfriars because of their habit.
The modern organization of the Friars Minor comprises three separate families or groups, each considered a religious order in its own right under its own minister General and particular type of governance. C.), but in the thirteenth century, prior to 1263, this order was referred to as "The Poor Ladies", "The Poor Enclosed Nuns", and "The Order of San Damiano".These orders include the Order of Friars Minor, the Order of Saint Clare, and the Third Order of Saint Francis.These orders adhere to the teachings and spiritual disciplines of the founder and of his main associates and followers, such as Clare of Assisi, Anthony of Padua, and Elizabeth of Hungary, among many others.He was soon joined by a prominent fellow townsman, Bernard of Quintavalle, who contributed all that he had to the work, and by other companions, who are said to have reached the number of eleven within a year.The brothers lived in the deserted leper colony of Rivo Torto near Assisi; but they spent much of their time traveling through the mountainous districts of Umbria, always cheerful and full of songs, yet making a deep impression on their hearers by their earnest exhortations.
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Their life was extremely ascetic, though such practices were apparently not prescribed by the first rule which Francis gave them (probably as early as 1209) which seems to have been nothing more than a collection of Scriptural passages emphasizing the duty of poverty.