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.

Download My Book for Free
Thomas Aquinas in 50 Pages
Over 15,000 copies downloaded! This is a quick and easy way to learn the basic philosophy and theology of Saint Thomas Aquinas. The Popes of the last 300 years have endorsed St Thomas Aquinas. Learn more through this accessible resources. Download it for free.

Comments Policy: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. If your comment contains a hyperlink to another site, your comment automatically goes into "Comments Purgatory" where it waits for release by way of moderation.

  • 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.

    Thank you.