Franciscan monk
   Franciscans, in the Roman Catholic Church, members of three religious orders that follow the rule of St. Francis of Assisi. Founded by Francis in Italy in the 13th century, the orders are devoted to serving the poor and preaching. The first order, formed in 1209, is composed of three independent branches: the Friars Minor, who keep a strict rule of poverty; the Friars Minor Conventual, who own property in common; and the Friars Minor Capuchin, a reform group of the Friars Minor. There is a second order of nuns, called Poor Clares, founded in 1212 by St. Francis and his follower St. Clare. Members of the third order are called Tertiaries and include men and women in community life. All three orders are governed by a minister-general in Rome, who is elected for a six-year term. Friars Minor and Capuchins wear brown tunics, hoods, and sandals; Conventuals wear black. In medieval England, Franciscans were called Gray Friars because their habits were then gray.