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Francis adopted the simple tunic worn by peasants as the religious habit for his order, and had others who wished to join him do the same.Those who joined him became the original Order of Friars Minor.
Francis began preaching around 1207 and traveled to Rome to seek approval from Pope Innocent III in 1209 to form a new religious order.
The Order of Friars Minor, previously known as the "Observant" branch, is one of the three Franciscan First Orders within the Catholic Church, the others being the "Conventuals" (formed 1517) and "Capuchins" (1520).
The Order of Friars Minor, in its current form, is the result of an amalgamation of several smaller orders completed in 1897 by Pope Leo XIII.
The original Rule of Saint Francis approved by the Pope disallowed ownership of property, requiring members of the order to beg for food while preaching.
The austerity was meant to emulate the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.