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Order of Minims

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The Order of Minims (Ordo Fratrum Minimorum, Order of smallest brothers) was founded by St Francis of Paola, officially in 1435.

The name reflects their humility; they view themselves as the least of all religious. The first rule was based on that of St Francis of Assisi. It was confirmed by Pope Alexander VI in 1493. A new rule, more independent than the first, was approved by the same pope in 1501. The rule introduced a fourth vow, demanding abstinence from fresh meat, fish, eggs, butter, milk etc. Some of the penitential aspects of the rule were mitigated in 1973.

The Minims wear a black habit. There is a Second Order of enclosed nuns (founded 1489 or 1495) and a Third Order (approved 1501, confirmed 1506).

The church San Francesco da Paola is served by the Minims, and their Generalate is adjacent to the church. They also serve Sant'Andrea delle Fratte, which was granted to them after the Reformation.

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