mendicant \ˈmen-di-kənt\ noun: 1. beggar, 2. (often capitalized) a member of a religious order (as the Franciscans) combining monastic life and outside religious activity and originally owning neither personal nor community property; friar
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin mendicant-, mendicans, present participle of mendicare to beg, from mendicus beggar
Concerning definition #1, I’d rather be a mendicant than a beggar. Concerning definition #2, I’d rather be a beggar than a mendicant.