Welcome to Poor Clares Colettine Monastery.
“Praised be Jesus Christ”
You are very welcome to our new website which we, Poor Clare Sisters of College Road, Cork are launching to coincide with a very special date for Poor Clares: eight hundred years since the founding of the Poor Clare Order of nuns, in Assisi, Italy.
On Palm Sunday in the year 1212 – it was March 18th – Clare of Assisi, a young lady of 18 years, left her home and family to dedicate her life to Jesus. In the society and culture of her time - medieval and feudal - this was an enormous step to take, especially as she did not intend joining an established Order for religious women, but Clare was an exceptionally mature girl and she had prayed earnestly about her decision – allowing herself to be guided by the gentle promptings of the Holy Spirit.
Clare had heard much about a young man of her native Assisi, Francis Bernardone, twelve years her senior. In his teens, Francis was more famous for parties than for prayers, for living “the good life” rather than a life of goodness! However Francis had had a dramatic about-turn. [St. Francis] It took a few years and much soul-searching before the way forward became clear to him, but by the time Clare reached young adulthood, Francis was totally committed to following Jesus in the Catholic Church and, though not a priest (it seems he was a deacon), he had permission to preach in the local churches and in the Cathedral of Assisi. Clare loved to hear him speak and soon longed to live as he lived: to give herself to God completely, to depend on Him utterly, to consecrate her whole life to God Who is Love! [St. Clare]
Thus on the night of March 18th 1212, eight hundred years ago, as Clare slipped out of her house, motivated solely by a deep love for the Lord Jesus, a new religious order was beginning, history was being made. (Both Clare and Francis were blest in their discernment with wise guidance from the fatherly Bishop Guido of Assisi.) Clare hadn’t set out to do anything new. She followed the Lord’s inspirations, sought wise counsel from Church leaders, received discreet support from trusted friends (all the time discerning in prayer) and the Lord did the rest! [Vocations]
In Clare’s own lifetime the Poor Clare Order, as it is now known in the English-speaking world, received Church and papal approval and had already spread out from Assisi to many cities of Italy and even further afield. There are Poor Clare Sisters in Ireland since at least the 1600s. You can find out more by visiting www.poor-clares.com and linking to other Poor Clare websites. For the history of our Cork Monastery, see Cork Monastery.
We hope you will enjoy visiting this website and that you will find the information of interest.
Clare and Francis made a difference in the world by responding to God’s love which was so real for them. We hope and pray that through your visit here you will experience God’s love for you. We will pray for all who browse here, especially for anyone in need or in distress of any kind. We want you to know that Jesus and Mary care deeply about you. You have been created by God so that He can love you for all eternity and so that you can love Him too in joy and in peace.
In the words of the blessing of St. Clare:
May the Lord always be with you and may you always be with Him