Fra`tri*cel"li (?), n. pl. [It. fraticelli, lit., little brothers, dim. fr. frate brother, L. frater.] Eccl. Hist. (a)
The name which St. Francis of Assisi gave to his followers, early in the 13th century.
A sect which seceded from the Franciscan Order, chiefly in Italy and Sicily, in 1294, repudiating the pope as an apostate, maintaining the duty of celibacy and poverty, and discountenancing oaths. Called also Fratricellians and Fraticelli.
© Webster 1913.