Formally the Order of Friars Minor Conventual. One of the three religious bodies forming the First Order of Saint Francis. The friars observe the rule of Francis of Assisi, with certain dispensations in regard to poverty. The separation of the Franciscans into two branches which came to be known as Observants and Conventuals formally dates from the Council of Constance (1415), though the tendency towards such a division had been manifest since the death of the founder, 1226. Both branches of the order continued under the same head until 1517. Members make their vows in accordance with new constitutions adopted, 1625. They acknowledge the dispensations contained therein and hence are not bound by all the obligations of the Observants and the Capuchin Friars Minor. From their habit they are sometimes termed “Black Franciscans.” The general of the order resides in Rome. See also the Order’s web site.