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This article explores the Franciscans' attempt to translate their local conception of poverty into a world order between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries. Studies of Franciscan poverty have generally been confined to Europe and to the Middle Ages, yet the pursuit of poverty also shaped the Franciscans' global interactions across the medieval and early modern periods. This focus provides an alternative perspective not only on the history of the Franciscan Order but also on global history, which has often been conceptualised as the European expansion of commodities, money and markets. Economic expansion was in dialogue with an overlooked story of resistance to, and questioning of, the phenomena of money and markets, and the attempt to realise a vision of the world based upon a unifying, yet unequal, notion of poverty.