Another striking feature of Francis's character was his constant joyousness; it was a precept in his rule, and one that he enforced strictly, that his friars should be always rejoicing in the Lord.
As the friars became more and more numerous their missionary labours extended wider and wider, spreading first over Italy, and then to other countries.
These words seem to contain the mere truth: Francis's peculiar religious genius was probably not adapted for the government of an enormous society spread over the world, as the Friars Minor had now become.
In England the chief orders of friars were distinguished by the colour of their habit: thus the Franciscans or Minors were the Grey Friars; the Dominicans or Preachers were the Black Friars (from their black mantle over a white habit), and the Carmelites were the White Friars (from their white mantle over a brown habit): these, together with the Austin Friars or Hermits, formed the four great mendicant orders - Chaucer's "alle the ordres foure."
Besides the four great orders of friars, the Trinitarians, though really canons, were in England called Trinity Friars or Red Friars; the Crutched or Crossed Friars were often identified with them, but were really a distinct order; there were also a number of lesser orders of friars, many of which were suppressed by the second council of Lyons in 1274.