CLARE, St and the Clarisses. Clara
Sciffi, b. at Assissi, l194, d. there Aug. 11, 1253, belonged to a
distinguished family, but left her home in 1212 to follow St. Francis; practised, under his guidance, the
severest asceticism; founded the order of the Nuns of St. Clare, or the
Clarisses; and was canonized by Alexander IV. shortly after her death. The
order received its rule from St. Francis in 1224, enjoining absolute poverty,
temporary silence, fasting, etc. This rule was mitigated in 1246 by Innocent
IV., and again in 1264 by Urban IV., after whom those who adopted only the
mildest form of the rule were called Urbanists. In the fifteenth century,
however, the development took the very opposite direction. Colette of Corbie
(d. 1447) founded the Congregation of St. Colette, whose members bound
themselves to a strict observance of the original rule. In 1631 Francisca of
Jesus Maria, belonging to the house of Farnese, founded the Congregation of the
Strictest Observance; and in 1676 Peter of Alcantara founded the Congregation
of the ilermitesses of Alcautara, both of which went still farther in austere
Philip Schaff, ed., A Religious
Encyclopaedia or Dictionary of Biblical, Historical, Doctrinal, and Practical
Theology, 3rd edn, Vol. 1. Toronto, New York & London: Funk &
Wagnalls Company, 1894. p.489.
Armstrong, OFM Cap., translator. Clare of Assisi: Early Documents. New
York, Paulist Press, 1988. Pbk. ISBN: 0809130122. pp.345.
||Francis & Clare, The
Complete Works, Translator R..J. Armstrong, OFM. Cap. & I. Brady, OFM.
Classics of Western Spirituality. New York: Paulist Press, 1982. Pbk. ISBN:
||Christopher Stace, translator. St Clare of
Assisi. Triangle, 2001. Pbk. ISBN: 0281052948. pp.160.
Bartoli, Clare of Assisi. London: Darton, Longman & Todd Ltd, 1993.
Pbk. ISBN: 0232520267. pp.256.
Brooke, "St. Clare," Derek Baker, ed. Medieval Women, Dedicated and
Presented to Rosalind M.T. Hill on the Occasion of Her Seventieth Birthday.
Studies in Church History, Subsidia, 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978.
ISBN: 0631192603. pp.275-87.
Brunette, "Francis and Clare of Assisi: A Journey into Symbols of Growth," Studia Mystica 12.1 (1989): 6-20.
Coughlin, "Clare of Assisi: A Paradigm for Building Partnership," New
Theology Review 9.1 (1996): 58-70.
Gilliat-Smith, Saint Clare of Assisi: Her Life and Legislation.
Johnson, "Visual Imagery and Contemplation in Clare of Assisi's Letters to
Agnes of Prague," Mystics Quarterly 19.4 (1993): 161-172.
Meany, "Choose to Live According to the Perfection of the Holy Gospel: Saint
Francis and Saint Clare as Spiritual Guides," Chicago Studies 38.1