Lecture: “Clara in natura, clarior in fama, clarissima in gratia: Clare of Assisi and Feminine Holiness in Later Medieval Europe”
Alison More (University of St Michael's College)
Canadian Institute for Mediterranean Studies
When writing her biography, Clare of Assisi described herself as “Clare unworthy servant of Christ and the little shoot of the most blessed father Francis.” These same images were repeatedly used to portray the virgin of Assisi as humble, obedient and faithful to the original Franciscan vision. From the thirteenth century onwards, virtues that have been regarded as traditionally feminine (such as chastity, beauty and purity) were associated with Clare. While this model persisted throughout the later medieval and early modern periods, it steadily and progressively took on other characteristics reflecting both social and spiritual change.
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