Franciscan Monks

The Franciscan Monks were a mendicant order created by St Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) in 1209. They were known as the Greyfriars because of their grey habits.

The Franciscan Monks were dedicated to live a life of poverty and simplicity. Rather than isolate themselves in their monasteries like previous orders of monks, the Franciscans devoted their lives to helping the poor. For this reason, Franciscan monasteries were often found in towns and cities rather than in the countryside. The Poor Clares were Franciscan nuns who followed the rule of St Clare of Assisi (1194-1253).

The Franciscans established their first monastery in Denmark in Ribe in 1232. By the end of the Middle Ages, there were 20 Franciscan monasteries in Denmark, many of them quite wealthy. After the Reformation of 1536, many of the monasteries were destroyed but there are still well preserved examples in Nykøbing Falster, Odense and Aalborg, which also has a musuem about the Franciscan Order.

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