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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Fraticelli, sometimes confusingly called Fratricelli, were medieval Roman Catholic groups that could trace their origins to the Franciscans, but which came into being as a separate entity. The Fraticelli were declared heretical by the Church in 1296 by Boniface VIII. Other figures included Michael of Cesena and Peter Olivi.

The Fraticelli ("Little Brethren") were extreme proponents of the rule of Saint Francis of Assisi, especially with regard to poverty, and regarded the wealth of the Church as scandalous, and that of individual churchmen as invalidating their status. They were thus forced into open revolt against the whole authority of the Church.

The name Fraticelli is used for various heretical sects, which appeared in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, principally in Italy, that separated from the Franciscan Order on account of the disputes concerning poverty. The Apostolics (also known as Pseudo-Apostles or Apostolic Brethren) are excluded from the category, because admission to the Order of St. Francis was expressly denied to their founder, Gerard Segarelli. They had no connection to the Franciscans, in fact desiring to exterminate them. It is therefore necessary to differentiate the various groups of Fraticelli, although the one term may be applied to all.

Umberto Eco's novel The Name of the Rose is set against the persecution of Fraticelli.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Fraticelli" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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