By Adriana Baranello

Saint Clare of Assisi was born on 16 July 1194 (d. 12 August 1253, canonized 1255) in Assisi. She was the eldest child of Favorino Schiffi, Count of Sasso-Rosso. Though born into a life of luxury, Clare devoted herself to religious study very early, and took her vows at age 18. Her vows were taken in front of Saint Francis on 20 May 1212, Palm Sunday. Saint Clare was one of Saint Francis’s earliest followers, and founder of the Franciscan Order’s sister Order, the Order of Poor Ladies more commonly called the Poor Clares, while abbess of the monastery of San Damiano. St Clare authored the Rule of Life for the order; it is the first monastic rule known to be written by a woman.


“St. Clare.” Catholic Online.

Paschal Robinson, “St. Clare of Assisi.” Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, 1913.

Detail of Simone Martini’s frescoes (1312-1320) in the Lower Basilica in the the Papal Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi (the Church of San Francesco), Assisi featuring St Clare with Saints Elizabeth of Hungary and Louis of France

The  Madonna and Child, with Saints William of Aquitaine, Clare, Anthony of Padua  and Francis, Garofalo (Benvenuto Tisi), c. 1517-1518, oil on wood, National Gallery London

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