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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Clare of Assisi

b. 1194, Assisi, Italy; d. 1253, Assisi, Italy

The daughter of Italian nobility, Clare rejected her parentsā€™ plans for marriage and fled to Assisi to join the Christian ascetic order founded by Saint Francis. She established the order of the Poor Clares in a convent at San Damiano and was soon joined by her mother and sister, Agnes. As abbess, Clare enforced a strict rule of poverty; property ownership was forbidden. The order and the rules that governed it were finally recognized by Pope Innocent IV in 1253, just two days before Clare died.