– Text provided by Sr. Jean Moore –
Clare of Assisi was a contemporary and friend of Francis who also left her home in search of a way to best serve her God. She established a community of Sisters in the Franciscan charism at the Church of San Damiano just outside of the walls of Assisi. The Poor Clares, as they became known, lived the charism and form of life of St. Clare fashioned after the form of life developed by Francis. Clare is the first woman to receive papal approbation for her Rule and Form of Life, which she received two days before her death, August 11, 1253.
This portrait of Clare by Simone Martini, found in teh Lower Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, was painted around 1312-20 and depicts Clare as a woman of nobility and aristocracy, which she was.
Martini’s portrait of Clare of Assisi was chosen for the Viterbo University Collection not only for its elegance and authenticity, but also as a reminder of the feminine nature of the Franciscan charism. Clare’s deeply spiritual well of strength, tenacity and courage serves as a model for all women in their relationship with God and all of Creation.