Order of Poor Ladies

[Saint Clare of Assisi]
Also known as
Poor Clares; Sisters of Saint Clare
Founded
1212
Founder
Saint Clare of Assisi
Description
Franciscan nuns of the Second Order of Saint Francis. The life of a Poor Clare is occupied with work and prayer, penance and contemplation. Sisters fast at all times, except the Feast of the Nativity, with no meat at any time. The great silence is from Compline until after the conventual Mass. During the day there is one hour of recreation, except on Friday. Meals are eaten in silence. The Divine Office is recited, not sung, and they use the Franciscan breviary. The habit is a loose fitting garment of gray frieze; the cord is of linen rope about one-half inch in thickness having four knots representing the four vows; their sandals are cloth.

There are two branches of Poor Clares, the Colettines, so called because their Rule was modified by Saint Colette, and the Urbanists, whose Rule was modified by Pope Urban IV. Colettines follow a rigorous rule; they are enclosed, fast, abstain from meat, are discalced, and possess no property, not even in common. Urbanists sometimes work outside their convents, and are less austere than the Colettines.

Poor Clares profiled at this site include
Additional Information
Catholic Encyclopedia: Poor Clares
Catholic Encyclopedia: Saint Clare of Assisi
Catholic Encyclopedia: Saint Colette
Catholic Encyclopedia: Pope Urban IV.
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