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MINIMI


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MINIMI


treatise on the " Temporal Power of the Pope ", he un- dertook a more ambitious work in his " Data of Modern Ethics Examined". The prominence of the labour question led him to engage in a deep study of that problem. To this we owe "The Characteristics and the Religion of Modem Socialism", and "The Moral- ity of Modem Socialism". These two works supply Catholic students with not only an unprejudiced e.x- position of the Socialistic movement as propounded by its leading advocates, but a critical refutation of the erroneous theories on which it is based.

HossLEtN in America. Ill (2 July, 1910), 307-308.

A. A. MacErlean.

Minimi (or Minims) are the memters of the re- ligious order founded by St. Francis of Paula. The name is an allusion to Friar Minor, or to Matt., xxv, 40: " Quamdiu fecistis uni ex his fratribus meis minimis, mihi fecistis", and suggests, as Leo X in the Bull of canonization of the holy founder says, the gi-eat humil- ity which should characterize the religious of this order, and by reason of which, they ought to consider themselves as the least of all religious. With the first Order of the Minims are connected a second and a third order. In this article we are concerned princi- pally with the first.

I.'Obigin and Rule. — St. Francis of Paula, having in his youth lived one year in a Franciscan convent at S. Marco (Calabria), dedicated himself to solitary life in a hermitage near Paula. In 1435 some disciples joined him, and after a few years he founded convents at Paterno, 1444, and at Milazzo in Sicily, 1469. The new society was called "Hermits of St. Francis of Assisi". The Archbishop of Cosenza granted them of his own accord, in 1471, exemption from his jurisdic- tion (Lanovius, " Bullarium", 9), which privilege was confirmed bySixtus IV, 1473 (Lanovius, "Bull.", 11). The same pontiff gave them the privileges of mendicant friars (q. v.). For 57 years (1435-93) the new foun- dation had no written rule, but in 1493 the first rule, containing 13 chapters, which was almost a faithful copy of that of St. Francis of Assisi, was confirmed by Alexander VI. (See text Lanovius, ad ann. 1493, and Bull. Rom., V, 352.) A second version of the rule in 10 chapters, which showed more independence of the Rule of St. Francis, was approved by Alexander VI in 1501. Here the fourth solemn vow of vita qundragesimalis appears, which forms the distinctive character of the Minims. In the .same Bull of con- firmation is inserted the rule of the third order in 7 chapters, for seculars of both sexes. (Text Lanovius ad ann. 1501; Bull. Rom., V, 385.) Hardly differ- ent from this second version is the rule confirmed in 1502. (Lanovius, ad ann. 1502.) Finally a third defi- nite text of the rule of the first order, which is still ob- served by the Minims, was confirmed by Julius II, "Dudum ad sacrum ordinem", 28 July, 1506. (Bull. Rom., V, 421.) The rule of the second order, which is for sisters and which originated in Spain, appears for the first time in the same Bull. It is almost a literal adoption of the rule of the first order, while the rule of the third order here inserted is the same as that confirmed in 1501. The spirit which per- meates these rules, especially those of the first and second orders, is that of great penance and abnegation. The fourth vow imposes perpetual abstinence from all flesh and white meats, and only in ease of grave sick- ness by order of the physician may it be dispensed with. The Order of Minims is founded on the same principle of organization as that of all mendicants. The superiors are called correctors. At the head is the corrector general, who formerly was elected every three years, but since 1605 every six years. The corrector provincial is elected for three years, while the local superior is elected by each convent for only one year. The habit of the Minims is made of coarse black wool, has broad sleeves, and is girded by a thin


black cord. The mozzetta of the capuce reaches below the cord, almost in the form of a scapular. To ensure the stricter observance of the rules of the first and second orders, Francis of Paula drew up a "Correc- torium", consisting of ten chapters corresponding to the number of chapters in the rule, which determines the penance to be inflicted on those who transgress its precepts. This " Correctorium " was approved by Julius II in 1506 and by Leo X in 1517 (Digestum, see telow, I, 55).

II. Propagation and Activities. — The Order of the Minims, propagated at first in Italy was intro- duced by special royal favour into France, whither the holy founder was called in 14S2. There the earliest convents were at Plessis - les -Tours, A m b o i s e , and Nigeon,near Paris. On account of their great sim- plicity the Minims in France re- ceived the appel- lation of hons hommes. In 1495 Charles VIII of France founded in Rome the con- vent of Trinita del Monti, which, by Bull of Innocent X (1645), was ex- clusively reserved to the French fa- t h e r s . From France the Minims spread to Spain, where they were called " Fathers of the Victory", owing to the vic- tory of King Fer- dinand over the Moors of Malaga. In 1497 the Em- peror Maximilian introduced the new order into Germany (Bohe- mia). At the death of St. Fran- cis of Paula, 1507, A Mimj there existed five provinces spread ov Spain, and Germany.

A little later the order counted 450 convents. In 1623 Dony d'Attichi gives the number of members as 6430, convents 359, and provinces 30, distributed in the principal Catholic countries of Europe. Lanovius in 1635 adds to the number of provinces three com- missariates, of which one was in the West Indies. In 1646 the Propaganda approved the foundation of a mission in Canada, but it is not known if this plan was ever carried out (Rolaerti, II, 688). In England the Minims seem not to have had any convents, still some illustrious English memters are recordetl, as Thomas Felton, martyred in 1588, Henry More, nephew of the chancellor. Blessed Thomas More, il. at Reims, 1587; Andrew Folere, d.at Soissons, 1594. The second order was never very widely propagated. In 1623 there existed 11 convents with 360 sisters. The third order, on the contrary, found many adherents among the faithful in the countries where convents of the first order exLsted.

To give some indication of its activity we mention some of its most distinguished members. The first to be named is Bernard Boil (see BuiL, Ber.nardo), the first vicar Apostolic in America, appointed 1493, who, as


Italy, France,