Is there any difference between Franciscans and Gray/Grey Friars?
February 1, 2012 11:14 PM   Subscribe

Is there any difference between Franciscans and Gray/Grey Friars? I'm working on a translation for them and want to make sure I don't make a blunder due to sheer ignorance of their ways on my part. Thanks!

posted by MighstAllCruckingFighty to Religion & Philosophy (3 answers total)
Best answer: The Franciscans were called the "gray friars," but my understanding is that they prefer not to use the term now. I'm not exactly sure what your question is, but if you're wondering if past references to "the gray friars" refer to the same order as the modern-day Franciscan OFM (Order of Friars Minor), they do---though not to the OFM Cap (the Franciscan Capuchins, whose habits have always been brown).
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:45 PM on February 1, 2012

Response by poster: Sorry if I wasn't clear. I'm looking for the best English translation of the German word "Franziskaner". I think I'll just go with "Franciscan" based on what you said.

posted by MighstAllCruckingFighty at 12:29 AM on February 2, 2012

Best answer: For translation I'd definitely go with "Franciscan". Here's a bit of background on why "greyfriars" doesn't generally apply anymore:

There are three main groups of male Franciscan friars in existance today the Order of Friars Minor (called the regular observance, abbreviated O.F.M.), the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin (called "Capuchins," abbreviated O.F.M. Cap.), and the Order of Friars Minor Conventual (O.F.M. Conv.). The Greyfriars name has in part faded away because none of these three groups of Franciscans generally wear grey anymore. The regular observance friars and the Capuchins wear brown (the capuchins with a hood or "capuce", whence their name) and the Conventuals wear black (though occasionally the Conventuals wear grey).

In the 20th century, there have been a number of newly founded Franciscan groups, generally with a stricter observance of the ancient rule and some of thse wear grey (the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal and the Franciscans of the Immaculate, but they are smaller groups at this point than the main Franciscan bodies.)
posted by Jahaza at 7:37 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

« Older Help me explain to my dad why it is not a double...   |   Best Android audio recorder/sampler? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.