A BOOK PATH TO CLARE Where to find everything you always wanted to know about Saint Clare

Step I - Ancestry of Chiara di Favarone di Offreduccio Traditionally it was held that Clare belonged to the Scifi family. This belief was accepted for many centuries as the works of some authors demonstrate:

Abate, Giuseppe, O.F.M.Conv. " La casa paterna di S. Chiara, e falsificazioni storiche dei secoli XVI e XVII intorno alla medisima Santa e a Santa Francesco d'Assis." Assisi: Casa Editrice Francescana, 1946; Bolletino della R.Deputazione di Storia Patria per l'Umbria 41 (1944): 34-160; 50 (1953): 111-44. ___. Nuovi studi sull'ubicazione dell casa paterna di S. Chiara d'Assisi. Assisi 1954. Attal, Francesco Salvatore. "La casa paterna e il parentado di S. Chiara. Falsi e falsari dei secoli XVI e XVII." Miscellanea Francescana 46 (1946): 157-97. Gubbio: Soc. Tip "Oderisi," 1947. Bargellini, Piero. S. Francesco d'Assisi. Turin 1941. Bulgarini. Santo Francesco. Turin 1940. Chiminelli, P. "Ricerche storiografiche su Santa Chiara." L'Osservatore Romano 5 gen. (1947): 3. Henrion, A. Sorella Chiara. Milan 1921. Jorgensen, Johannes. Vita de San Francesco d'Assisi. Palermo, 1910 ---. "St. Clara and San Damiano." Saint Francis of Assisi. New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1926. Locatelli, Vincenzo, O.F.M. Vita de Santa Chiara di Assisi. Naples: Andrea Festa, 1855. Sabatier, Paul. Vie de S. François d'Assisi. Paris, 1931. English: Life of St. Francis of Assisi. Trans: Louise Seymour Houghton. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1894. Tossignano. History of the Seraphic Religion, 3 Vols. Venice 1586. Vitale, Salvatore. Seraphic Paradise. Milan, 1645 1

Wadding, Luke, O.F.M. Annales Minorum seu Trium Ordinem a S. Francisco Institutorem, I, 1212. Quaracchi: Prope Florentiam, 1931. Zoccà, Emma. "L'identificazione della casa patrna di S. Chiara in Assisi." Miscellanea Francescana 54 (1954): 651-6.
Arnaldo Fortini questioned this and traced the family lines of Saint Clare by examining thousands of records in the Archives of the Commune of Assisi, the Archives of the Commune of Perugia, the Archives of the Sacro Convento and of Santa Chiara, the Statutes of the Magnificent City of Assisi, and the Annals of the Ten Magistrates of Perugia. Since it was not customary at the time of Saint Francis and Saint Clare to keep baptismal, confirmation, marriage and death records in the manner which afterwards became general practice in the Church, Fortini's search turned to legal and public papers such as property deeds and descriptions, property leases, court sentences, wills, pacts of concord, feudal pacts and legal agreements. This investigation yielded information which supplemented what was already available in the Legend and Process of Canonization. In this manner he was able to construct the lines of Clare's family, tracing it to the Offreduccio clan. Clare's name must then have been: Chiara di Favarone di Offreduccio. The following texts contain the final form of his studies which had begun in 1926:

Fortini, Arnaldo. "Nuove notizie intorna a S. Chiara d'Asisi." Archivum Franciscanum Historicum 46 (1953): 3-43; 47 (1954): 211. "New Information about Saint Clare of Assisi." Trans: Jane Frances. Greyfriars Review 7 (1993): 27-69. ___." Della casa paterna di S. Chiara." Archivum Franciscanum Historicum 48 (1955): 16094. Reprinted: Nova vita di S.Francesco d'Assisi II: Assisi, 1959: 351-82. ___. " Santa Chiara." Nova vita di Santa Francesco d'Assisi I. Assisi, 1959: 409-53. "Saint Clare, Lady of Light." St. Francis of Assisi. Trans: Helen Moak. New York: Crossroad, 1981: 327-66.

___. "La famiglia di Santa Chiara." Nova vita di S. Francesco d'Assisi II. Assisi: 1959:31549. ___. "Luoghi e persone che si ritrovano nella vita di Santa Chiara." Nova vita di Santa Francesco d'Assisi II. Assisi 1959:384-426. Englebert, Omer. St. Francis of Assisi. Trans: Eve Marie Cooper. Chicago: Franciscan Herald Press, 1965: Appendix VI, 423-4
A further study by Gemma Fortini traces Clare's ancestry back to Frederick II.

Fortini, Gemma. "La famiglia di S. Chiara d'Assisi." Analecta Tertii Ordinis Regularis s. Francisci 14/134 (1981): 881-908. ___. "The Noble Family of Saint Clare of Assisi." Trans. Finbarr Conroy, OFM. Franciscan Studies 42 (1982): 48-66.

8th CENTENARY OF CLARE’S BIRTH (1993-1994) Clare of Assisi: A New Woman. Letter of the Four Ministers General of the Franciscan Family to the Poor Clares, to all Franciscan Sisters living the "enclosed" life, and to all who love Clare and Francis throughout the world on the occasion of the Eighth Centenary of the Birth of St. Clare (1193-1993). Art by Raymond Falzon, O.F.M. Franciscan Publishers, 1993. Diocesi di Anagni-Alatri. Comitato per l'VIII Centenario della nascita di S. Chiara. Atti del covegno di studi, Anagni, 30 gennaio 1994.


Peterson, Ingrid, O.S.F. “Yes, Clare, the Candles are Still Burning after your 800th Birthday Celebration” A Bibliographic Retrospect.” The Cord 54, 4(2004): 193-202. Pope John Paul II. Papal Letter to the Poor Clares on the eighth centenary of the birth of St. Clare of Assisi. Greyfriars Review 7 (1993): 123-7. We Decided to Send You a Letter. Poor Clares of the Mother Bentivoglio and Holy Name Federations, the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration, and the Monastery of Riviere-duLoup, Quebec, 1993. [ A response to the Letter of the Four Ministers General to the Poor Clares on the occasion of the 8th. Centenary of the Birth of Saint Clare of Assisi.]

Step 2 – Clare’s Call to Follow Christ: San Damiano What was Clare's exact age at the time she joined Francis? This is one of the disputed questions of her life. The foundation of the Order of Saint Clare has been deputed from the year 1212. There are articles that discuss possibilities:

"Commemoration of St. Clare's Espousal with Christ." Pro Monialibus 14 (1969): 9; 20 (1970): 1-2. "Date of Clare's Consecration." Pro Monialibus 36 (1972): 3-4. McKelvie, Roberta A., O.S.F. "Clare's Conversion: A Counter-Cultural Choice." The Cord 7 (1991): 202-7. Padovese, Luigi, O. F.M.Cap. "La `Tonsura' di Chiara: Gesto di consacrazione o segno di penitenza?" Laurentianum 31 (1990): 389-412; English: "Clare's Tonsure: Act of Consecration or Sign of Penance?" Trans. Madonna Balestrieri, O.S.F. Greyfriars Review 6 (1992): 67-80. Thom, Frances Ann, O.S.C. "Saint Clare's Incorporation." Editorial. The Cord 7 (1986): 193-5.
In the year 1212 Francis brought her to the Benedictine Nuns at St. Paolo di Bastia, and then to an enclosure for hermit women at San Angelo di Panzo. There are articles on these locations:

Santucci, Francesco. "S. Angelo di Panzo, presso Assisi." Atti Accademia Properziana del Subasio 13 (1986): 83-112. English: "Sant'Angelo Di Panzo Near Assisi." Trans. Lori Pieper, S.F.O. Greyfriars Review 8 (1994): 219-38. Locatelli-Paolucci, Tommaso. Vita breve di S.Chiara di Assisi Vergine e fondatrice dell' O. delle Clarisse. Sansi, 1882: 167-72.

Clare's heart was not at rest, Celano tells us. Francis brought her, and the few who had joined her, to the little Church of San Damiano where she remained for the rest of her life. This was documented in the 15th century Chronicles of Marianus of Florence.

Mariano di Florentia. "Compendium Chronicarum Fratrum Minorum." Archivum Franciscanum Historicum 1 (1908): 106-7; Collectanea Francescana 24 (1987): 221.
Clare spent the remainder of her life at this ancient church of San Damiano situated on the Strata Francigena, a well used road leading to France. Some knowledge about this little Church will enable us to imagine something of the life that was lived there by Clare and the women who joined her. Pictures of Saint Damian's may be found in guide books of Assisi, such as:

Chierichetti, Sandro. Assisi: An Illustrated Guide Book. Milan: Moneta, ND: 23-7. Cianchetta, Romeo. Assisi: Art and History in the Centuries. Narni-Terni: Plurigraf, 1985: 93-7. Magro, Paschal, Greyfriar. Assisi: History Art Spirituality. Assisi: Casa Editrice Francescana, Frati Minori Conventuali, ND: 107-10. Majarelli, Stanislao, O.F.M. Assisi: A Franciscan Pilgrimage. Assisi: Portiuncola, 1959. Troiano, Costantino, and Alfonso Pompel. Illustrated Guide of Assisi. Casa Editrice Francescana, Frati Minori Conventuali. Forma Sororum 3 (1984). [A few photos dispersed throughout edition.]
The History of the building before, during and after Clare's lifetime is presented in the following studies:

Bigaroni, Marino, O.F.M. "San Damiano - Assisi: The First Church of Saint Francis." Trans. Agnes Van Baer, O.S.C. Franciscan Studies 47 (1987): 45-97. ---. "San Damiano: The First Eucharistic Sanctuary in Italy." Communion and Communication 1998: 31-34. Boccali, Giovanno, O.F.M. "San Damiano, sanctuario." Dizionario Francescano 1583-1604. Bracaloni, Leone, O.F.M. Storia di San Damiano d'Assisi. Assisi: 1919; Todi 1926.


___."L'Affresco del denaro in S. Damiano." Archivum Franciscanum Historicum 7 (1914): 17-9. Cristofani, Antonio. Storia della chiesa e del chiostro de S. Damiano. Assisi 1882. Escobar, Clodulfo, O.F.M. "San Damiano in the Clare Texts." Communion and Communication 13 (1992): 43-8. "Il prodigioso Crociffiso che parlò a S. Francesco." Studi Francescani (1939): 185-212. Mary Seraphim, P.C.P. A. "The Miraculous Crucifix of San Damiano." The Cord 7 (1980): 215-8. Miller, Ramona. In the Footsteps of Saint Clare: A Pilgrim's Guidebook. St. Bonaventure, NY: The Franciscan Institute, 1993: 58-81. [Map of ancient Assisi inside back cover.]
Some articles and poetry about San Damiano in regard to Saint Clare:

Clare Ellen, O.S.C. An Ancient Little Church. The Cord 7 (1985). Francis, Sr., S.M.I.C. Saint Damian, Home of the Poor Clares. The Cord 8 (1953). San Damiano: Il Santuario della fedeltà. Assisi: Direzione Sala Francescana di cultura, 1950. Van Baer, Agnes, O.S.C. "The Church and Monastery of San Damiano: Prior To and During the Life of Saint Francis." Franciscan Institute of Asia Contact 5 (1984): 1027.
Clare's first companions:

“Mandate of 1238”, Clare of Assisi: Early Documents. Ed. And Trans: Regis J. Armstrong, O.F.M. Cap. St. Bonaventure, NY: The Franciscan Institute Publications, 1993. [The Mandate of 1238 lists names of fifty sisters living at San Damiano] Agnes of Assisi. Menologium, November 16. Brunacci, Aldo, and Pia Bruzzichelli. "Agnese di Assisi, santa [+1253]. Biblioteca Sanctorum I. Rome 1961: 369-74. Cabano, Paolo. Chiara, Agnese e la prime Damianite nell'agiografia Francescana primavera. Franciscan Studies 25 (1988) and subsequent editions.

Casolini, Fausta. "La triplice corona. Problemi della vita di S. Agnese di Favarone." Chiara d'Assisi 2 (1954): 6-12. "Chronica XXIV Generalium Ordinis Minorum," Analecta Franciscana III. Ad Claras Aquas, 1869. St. Agnes, 173-182. Ciro da Pisaro, O.F.M. La beata Ortolana d'Assisi Rome: Salustiana, 1904. French: Vie de la Comtesse Scifi; or Bienheureuse Hortulane d'Assise Mere de Sainte-Claire. Lille: Desclee de Brouwer, 1906. ___. La Madre del Santo d'Assisi. Tolentino, 1926. Clarisse of the Protomonastery. Vita di S. Agnese di Assisi. Lecce 1913. Corcoran, Dean, O.F.M.Cap. In Her Sister's Shadow. The Life of Agnes of Assisi. New Jersey: St. Anthony's Guild, 1958. Fiege, Marianus. O.F.M. "Clare's First Companions in the Cloister." The Princess of Poverty: Saint Clare of Assisi. Evansville: Monastery of St. Clare, 1909; Reprinted Chicago: Franciscan Herald Press, 1989. [Agnes of Assisi 114-115; Agnes of Spello,108-109; Amata, 106; Angelucia 110, Balbina 111, Beatrice 112, Benvenuta 110-111; Christina 109-111, Francesca 110, Ortolana,112; Pacifica, 105.] Forti, Giovani. Vita di S.Chiara d'Assisi Contessa di Sasso Rosso, e Fondatrice delle Monache del suo Serafico Ordine. Michele Arcangelo Silvestri, 1705. [Agnes of Assisi, 316-25; Amata, 358-9; Balbina, 359-60; Beatrice, 357-8; Francescsa, 365-6; Ortolana 352-6; Pacifica, 358-62; Phillipa 363-5.] Fortini, Arnaldo. "Lady of Light." St. Francis of Assisi. New York: Crossroads, 1981: 34953. ___. "Nel centenario della sorella di Chiara. Il nome che Agnese ebbe nel secolo." Chiara d'Assisi 3 (1956): 16-22. ___. "Il cilizio di Vanna di Coldimezzo." Chiara d'Assisi 4 (1956): 112-26. [Francesca Capitanei de Coldimezzo, one of Clare's companions.] Garzono, Chiara Lucia, O.S.C. "Agnese d'Assisi, un profilo de luce.' Forma Sororum 1 (1981): 17-9. ___. Without Turning Back. The Life of Saint Agnes of Assisi. Libreria Editrice Florentina, 1991


Gennaro, Clara. "Agnese d'Assisi, l'ultimo ritorno: dalle `Pauperes Dominae' di San Damiano alle clarisse." Movemento religioso femminile e Francescane. Assisi: 1979. 167-91. English: "Clare, Agnes and the First Sisters: from the "Pauperes Dominae" of San Damiano to the Poor Clares." Greyfriars Review 9 (1995): 259-276. Grègoire, Règinald. Personalità femminile nell'agiografia francescana primitiva. Pisa: Università di Pisa, 1985-1986. Bibliotheca Universa Franciscana. Ed. Johannes a S. Antonio I. 1732: 73. Lainati, Chiara Augusta, O.S.C. " La`prudentissima vergine,' sorella nostra." Santa Chiara d'Assisi cenni Biografici di S.Agnese d'Assisi. Assisi: Edizioni Porziuncola, 1980. 112-22. English: "The Most Prudent Virgin Our Sister [A Biography of St. Agnes of Assisi +1253]." The Cord 35 (1985): 275-83. ___. Temi Spirituali II. 1559. [ S. Agnese d’Assisi.] Lazzeri, Zepherinus, O.F.M. "De Agnetis Assisiensis quodam reliqua et Officio proprio." Archivum Franciscanum Historicum 8 (1915): 658-60. ___. S. Agnese. Archivum Franciscanum Historicum 13 (1920): 435-7. "Little Known Franciscans: St. Agnese of Assisi." Round Table of Franciscan Research 22 (1957): 109-17. Locatelli Paolucci, Tommaso. Vita breve di S. Chiara d'Assisi vergine e fondatrice dell'Ordine delle Clarisse. Assisi: Sansi, 1882. [Agnese -her relics and her cult, 183-6; Agnese di Opportunulo di Bernardo di Assisi, 35-6; 3rd. Agnese (name only), and Amata, 33-5; Balbina 39-40; 2nd. Balbina 42-3; Beatrice 46-7; Benedetta 40-1; Benvenuta 38-9; Cecilia Gualturi 41-2; Chiara niece of Penenda 43-5; Christina 32-3; Francesca Comitoli 186-8; Luna Romana (name only); Ortolana 45-6; Pacifica 312.] Marianus of Florence. Libro delle dignità et excellentie del ordine della serafica madre delle povere donne sancta Chiara da Asisi. Assisi: Portiuncola Press, 1986. [Agnes of Assisi 135-46; Agnes of Spello 155-6; Amata (niece) 150-1; Beatrice (Clare's sister) 148-9; Balbina (Niece) 149-50; Balbina 153; Benedicta 153-4; Benvenuta 154; Benvenuta (Diambra) 157-8; Christina 154; Cecilia 155; Cecilia (of Rome) 156; Francesca (Mezzo) 156-7; Francesca 158-60; Ortulana 146-8; Pacifica 151-3; Philippa 155.] Nunes, José Joaquim. Crónica da Ordem dos Frader Minores (1209-1285), vol.I. Coimbra: Impressa da Universidade, 1918. 327-435.

Omaechevarria, Ignacio, O.F.M. "Chiara, Agnese e le prime Damianite nell'agiografia francescana primitiva." Forma Sororum 26 (1988): 253-63; 27 (1989): 50-62. Ricard, Antonine. S. Claire d'Assisi. Lille: Desclée de Brouwer, 1875. [Contains illustration used in veneration of Clare's mother, Hortulana, and Agnes of Prague.] Rodrígues, Isabel María del Niño Jesús. La Segundi di plantita serafica, Santa Inés de Asís. Tarragona 1964.
Santa Clara de Assis: Incluendo traços biographicos de Santa Inês de Assis. Brazil: Cefijal (Vozes),


"Vita B. Hortulana matris S. Clarae." National Library of Florence. Magliabechiam Codex 699, XXXVII, ff. 74v-75r. Wadding, Annales III, XXV, 309. [A brief life of Hortulana.]
Articles used by Saint Clare are preserved at San Damiano and at the Proto Monastery in Assisi. There are pictures and information on these: The iron grate through which the sisters received Communion.

"Concerning the Grate for Communion at the Time of Saint Clare." Pro Monialibus 81 (1980): 4-5. Forma Sororum 15 (1978): 240a.
Clare's hair was preserved by her sisters.

Casolini, Fausta. Il Protomonastero di Santa Chiara in Assisi. Assisi: Garzanti, 1954. 260. Forma Sororum 15 (1978): 208a [Picture of the case holding Clare's hair.]
A Picture of the chalice and patten used at San Damiano during Clare's lifetime:

Forma Sororum 18 (1981): 244.
Pictures of the hand sewn lace Alb Clare made for Francis; also the penitential horse-hair garment Clare wore next to her skin:

Forma Sororum 18 (1981): 217-21.


Francis' tunic mended by Saint Clare?

Flury-Lemburg, Mechthild. "Textile Relics: The Cowl of St. Francis of Assisi." Textile Conservation and Research. Switzerland: Abegg-Stiftung, (ND), VII: 314-7. [Photos and studies on needlework Clare may have done on one of Francis' tunics.]
An article with pictures of the corporal said to have been made by Clare:

Mena, Maria de los Angeles Gonzales. "Origini del Monastero di Santa Chiara di Zamora." Forma Sororum 20 (1984).
Pictures of the lace and embroidery made by Clare.

Tea, Eva. "Il Ricamo di Santa Chiara." Santa Chiara d'Assisi: Studi e Cronaca del VII Centenario. 1253-1953. Assisi: Comitato Centrale per il VII Centenario Morte S. Chiara, 1953: 145-50.
A study of the coarse penitential shirt Clare wore.

Mischi de Volpi,Romana. "Studio Tecnico sul Camice di Santa Chiara." Santa Chiara d'Assisi: Studi e Cronaca del VII Centenario. 1253-1953. Assisi: Comitato Centrale per il VII Centenario Morte S. Chiara, 1953: 150-53.
The bell Clare used to awaken the sisters for midnight Office has been preserved at San Damiano.

"Signs or Bell used by Clare." Pro Monialibus 81 (1980): 2-3.
The breviary of Saint Clare preserved at San Damiano has been an object of interest to liturgists and scholars.

Bracaloni, Leone, O.F.M. "Il primo rituale francescano nel breviario di S.Chiara. Archivum Franciscanum Historicum 16 (1923): 71-87. Cholat, Auguste. "Le Breviaire de S. Claire conserve a Saint-Damien d'Assisi et son importance liturgique." Opuscales Historique, II. Paris: Fischbacher, 1904: 33-95. Oliger, Livarius, O.F.M. "Breviary of St. Clare." AFH 8 (1915): 397. van Dijk, Stephen Auralian, O.F.M. "The Breviary of Saint Clare". Franciscan Studies 8 (1948); 9 (1949). [In this study the author makes a correction of his previous work, saying the breviary was written in 1231-34.]

___. "The Breviary of Saint Clare". Origins of the Modern Roman Liturgy. Maryland: Newman Press, 1960: 135-44. [Notes on contents, a sample of pages, ritual for profession, etc.]
Wadding mentions seals Clare used: One for administrative acts and another for her personal letters.

Wadding, L. Annales, 1238, n. 14. Fortini, A. Nova Vita, II, 417-24. Vorreux, Damien, O.F.M. Sainte Claire d'Assise: Documents. Paris: Éditions Franciscaines, 1983: 362, note 32.
Further information on other items concerning Saint Clare's life at San Damiano may be found in the following articles:

Bracaloni, Leone, O.F.M. "Le Sacre Relique della Basilica di S. Chiara in Assisi." Archivum Franciscanum Historicum 12 (1919): 402-17. Bughetti, Benvenutus, O.F.M. "La tavola di S. Chiara nelle sua basilica d'Assisi." Archivum Franciscanum Historicum 19 (1926): 939-45. Ringhieri. Tesoro sacro delle reliquie che si conservano nel santuario di S. Chiara d'Assisi reconosciute ed authenticate dall'Ill. e Rev. no Mons. Ottavio di Conti Ringhieri Viscovo della detta serafica città d'Assisi. Bologna: nella stamperia del Longhi, 1741. Van Dijk, S. A. "Development of Eucharistic Legislation." Origins of the Modern Roman Liturgy. Maryland: Newman Press, 1960: 368-9.
Some literary works commemorated the Seventh Centenary of Clare’s vocation and the beginning of her Order in 1912.

Borgialli, Luigi M., O.F.M. Il fiore più eletto nel giardino di B. Francesco. Discorso recitato nella Basilica di S.Chiara in Assisi, festeggiandosi il VII Centenario della Fondazione del II Ordine Minoritico. Assisi: Portiuncola Press, 1912. Burghetti, Benvenutus, O.F.M. "Settimo Centenario della fondazione del second'Ordine." Archivum Franciscanum Historicum 5 (1912): 393-4; 782-5; 600-3; 6
(1913): 196. Emard, Joseph Medard. Sainte Claire d'Assisi. Valleyfield: 1912.


Pius IX. "Protomonasterium Sanctae Clarae Assisiensis Peculiaribus Augetus Privilegiis." Acta Apostolicae Sedis IV, 18 August (1912): 557-64. Robinson, Paschal, O.F.M. "The Centenary of St. Clare." Dublin Review 15 (1912): 156-69. Sensi, Filippo. S. Damiano, 22 settembre 1912. In recordo, 1212-1912 del settimo centenario dalla fondazione dell'Ordine ella povere dame. Assisi: Metastasio, 1912. Septieme centenaire de la fondation de l'Ordre de Sainte-Claire: Fetes Franciscaines de Paray-leMonial.... Chalon-su-Saone: Victorin, 1913. Settimo centenario della Monacazione di Santa Chiara e della fondazione dell Secondo Ordine (12121912). Florence: Santa Chiara Monastero, 1912. An article on the 750th anniversary of Clare’s clothing as a nun:

Casolini, Fausta. "Per il 750 anniversario della vestizione de santa Chiara: 1211-1961." Frate Francesco 28 (1961): 14-9.