Definition of | Meaning of
Friar | Friars
Monk | Monks
Brother | Brothers | Br.
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Definition: Friar /
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"FRIAR (Old Fr. frere, a brother). A member of one of the so-called mendicant
orders. 'Friar' is not synonymous with 'monk'" they are as different as
artillery from infantry; the life of a monk is normally passed within the walls
of his monastery; a friar has his headquarters in a friary but his work is of
the active ministry and may take him to all parts of the earth; a friar is a
member of a highly organized, widespread body with a central authority to which
he is professed; a monk's allegiance is to the abbot of an autonomous individual
monastery. Moreover, there is no limit to the amount of property which monks may
hold as a corporation; originally friars might have none, even in common, but
this was modified by the Council of Trent. The 'four mendicant orders of the
common law' are the Dominicans, Franciscans, Carmelites and Augustinians; the
lesser friars are the Servites, Trinitarians, Mercedarians, Minims, Brothers of
St. John of God and the Order of Penitence." (Catholic Dictionary)
μοναχός, a solitary). One who by taking the vows of religion binds himself to
the monastic life in its integrity. In the Eastern churches all religious are
monks; in the Western church, only the members of the following orders: the
Benedictine, Camaldolese, Vallombrosan, Sylvestrine, Olivetan, Cistercian and
Carthusian. Canons regular are sometimes classed as monks; but the distinction
between a monk and a friar is very sharp, both in law and in fact." (Catholic
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