Franciscan Friars with Long Capes…What Does it Mean?

I just learned an interesting fact about Franciscan habits. The Franciscan Conventuals (OFM Conv) have historically been associated with universities and learning. Consequently, their shoulder cape lengthened in the tradition of the other teaching friars (e.g. Augustinians, Carmelites and Dominicans) distinguishing them as academics.

Friars of the various Reform movements would shorten their shoulder cape as a sign of their renunciation of learning. If you look at the photos above, you’ll see that Saint Maximilian Kolbe (bottom photo) has the longer cape – he was a Franciscan Conventual and held two doctorates. Saint Pio (upper photo) has no cape – he was a Franciscan Capuchin.

Franciscan friars, please correct me if I’m way off on all this.

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  • Angela G.

    I am interested in any information about Franciscan Friars in St. Augustine in 1565-1598 and on to 1800′s.

    Specifically in the brick house, 238 St. George Street accross from present day Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Joseph.

    I’m curious as to what this house was used for after the Friars left it and what the Friars did when they left this house.

    Photos of that time period would be fantastic.

    Please email me any information or questions you may have.
    angelagetchius@hotmail.com

    Thank you.