Edition: 2023
Pages: 284
Series: EL
ISBN: 9788858123331

A Lively Solitude. Clare of Assisi

Chiara Frugoni



Clare of Assisi was the first person to write an original Rule for women, refusing to defer to a pre-existing masculine Rule declined in the feminine. Clare’s Rule was astounding, full of gentleness, tending towards understanding rather than judging and punishing. In the past mostly men have written of her life: her biographer, the pope and the church hierarchies all wrote about her to erase her memory. Clare spent her life behind the walls of the monastery of St. Damian. Contrary to what she desired, she was obliged to take a vow of seclusion, but her solitude was filled with many friends and a steely spiritual tension. In Chiara Frugoni’s work, the fresh and vivacious voices of her fellow sisters and of the lay witnesses of the canonisation process reveal a quite different saint from the official hagiographic portrait. Alongside them, Clare herself talks, this time listened to by the finely attuned ear of the historian, Chiara Frugoni, who intertwines written and figurative accounts of the saint’s life. These include miniatures, tables, and frescos, some of which have been restored with surprising results. The documents themselves may not be new, but hidden between the pages there was always a different biography waiting to be told.