Clare of Assisi, Founder of the Minoresses (Poor Clares)
Who was Clare of Assisi?
Was St Clare a teenage rebel who ran away from her wealthy home in Assisi?
If that's what St Clare did in the early 13th century, why is she still remembered today, the day of her death, 11 August?
Why is Clare of Assisi also known as St Clare?
And what is her connection with St Francis of Assisi?
Are you like me, you don't know much about St Clare?Would you like to know more? And you don't want to get bogged down in too much theological or academic writing?
Is so, you will find a simple starting point on the 'Our Roots' page of 'The Poor Clare Monastery, Hereford. This tells you a little about St Francis as well.
It is hard to understand Clare of Assisi without knowing something of the inspiration for simple Christian living that Clare found through the preaching of Francis of Assisi. The way of Francis, following in the way of Christ, inspired St Clare to found an order of contemplative nuns, known in her lifetime as 'the poor ladies of San Damiano'.
In England the first branch of the of the 'Poor Clares' was founded in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1286.The Poor Clares were known in England as the 'Minoresses'. Later the Abbey of the Order of St Clare built in Aldgate, London, became the principal English monastery for the order. The only trace left of that abbey today is in the street name 'Minories' on the eastern boundary of the City of London.
Clare of Assisi is an inspiration to all, who like her, sense God's call to dedicate their lives to God.Clare's name means 'light' and 'clarity', a name into which she grew as she reflected the light of Christ to others.
To read a sonnet in honour of St Clare click on Malcolm Guite's blog here.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain