Poor Clares

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The ‘Second Order’ of St Francis, founded by him and St Clare between 1212 and 1214. It received its first rule in 1219; a second one in 1247, allowing some mitigations; and a third one (1253) which included the right to practise corporate as well as personal poverty. This was not accepted by all convents, and in 1263 Pope Urban IV sanctioned a milder one; those nuns who follow this are known as ‘Urbanists’. In the 15th cent. St Colette restored the principle of poverty in her houses (known as Colettines). The Capuchin Reform of the 16th cent. added the Capuchinesses to the family of Poor Clares. Most Poor Clare convents are strictly contemplative; they are regarded as the most austere women's Order in the RC Church.

Subjects: Christianity — Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500).

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