Notification of Death - 135 

Notification of Death


This little known text announcing the death of Saint Clare on August 11, 1253, to the sisters of one hundred and ten monasteries professing her way of life has only come to light in this century. It was discovered in the Landau Library in Florence in a collection entitled Liber epistolarum secundum usum Curiae Romanae el aliorum Principium.a The manuscript, un fortunately the only one available, ends abruptly and without a proper conclusion. It is a most difficult piece of writing that seems to have been written in distress and in haste. The style is less than polished and, at times, there seems to be no logical flow of thought. For those reasons alone, however, it has a certain beauty and strength, for it reflects the nat ural struggle of the sisters in their attempts to reconcile the loss of their mother, Clare, with the faith that assures them of her place in heaven.

1To all the Sisters of the Order of Saint Damian through out the world, the Sisters living in Assisi [wish] salvation in the author of salvation.

2Since the sting of a darkening sadness has risen, it is not without tears that we embark on giving an account full of sadness; not without sorrowful sounds of mourning do we rush to announce that the mirror of the morning star, whose image we admired as a type of the true light, has vanished from our sight. 3The staff of our religion has perished! The vehicle of our profession has, so sadly, departed from the stadium of the human pilgrimage! Our Lady Clare, guide, venerable mother, and teacher, ascended not long ago to the bridal chamber of her heavenly Spouse, called by




Clare of Assisi: Early Documents, p. 135