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Poor Clare Sisters of Arundel: Bio

This is the Cross in our chapel.

It is a replica of the one that Saint Francis heard speak to him in Assisi in 1206.

It was in Saint Clare's Convent all her lifetime. She was a friend and contemporary of Francis.

Together they founded the Poor Clares.


St Clare, St Francis

"Most High Glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my heart and give me Lord a correct faith, a certain hope, a perfect love, sense and knowledge so that I may carry out your holy and true command."

Prayer of St Francis before the Crucifix

The life of a Poor Clare Sister is rooted in the love God the Father showed her when his Son, Jesus, was born into our human family.

St Francis of Assisi discovered this love as he was praying in front of the San Damiano Crucifix. From then on he became free from all the things that had been false in his life, free to become himself, and above all, free to give himself to Jesus, who had given himself totally for him.

He did not keep this treasure to himself, but with great joy and fire he spoke about the Good News of Christ's love with everyone he met.

Enter Clare di Offeduccio di Faverone

Francis cuts Clares hair

One of those who heard Francis speaking in the Cathedral of Assisi was a young noble girl of about 16 called Clare. She had already received the faith from the teaching and example of her mother, and had begun to live the Christian life as well as she knew how, by praying and helping the poor. But to hear Francis was something else altogether! She longed to talk with him, and eventually they met secretly and Francis instructed her in the ways of the gospel with such freshness and fire that all she wanted was to give herself to Christ as Francis had done – in love and in poverty.

On the night of Palm Sunday 1212 she fled to join Francis and his brothers in the chapel of St Mary of the Angels. There Francis cut off her hair as a sign of her commitment and received her promise of obedience. After some uncertainty, she went to live at San Damiano, outside Assisi, and was soon joined by other young women from all levels of society. To the end of her life she considered her community to be one group with the Friars Minor.

She was the first woman to write a Rule for other women. It was so broad and wise that it still works well today. She died in 1253 and was proclaimed a saint in 1255.

St Clare

What was new in Clare's vision? It was the idea of exchange. Everything she and her sisters made or grew they gave to others, and others in turn gave to the sisters. In this way they really shared the lives and poverty of those around them. This idea came to both Francis and Clare from the way that Jesus Christ shared our human life, and lived in poverty too. They felt that the fewer things they had the more room they had for God in their hearts.

She had many struggles with the Church about wanting to be totally poor and dependent on God. The Pope and bishops did not want her to be the original and determined figure that she was.

This is the tiny church of San Damiano. Built before the year 1000, St Francis restored it in 1206.

The Church of San Damiano

It was in this chapel, when he was 24 years old, that St Francis heard a voice from the Crucifix calling him to "Rebuild my Church."

It was here in 1212 that St Francis led Clare to begin the Order of the "Poor Ladies". Clare remained there for 42 years, loving Christ in poverty and following in his footsteps. There were times when as many as 50 sisters joined Clare's way of life.

Poor Clare Sisters of Arundel

Light for the World

Decca Records

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1 Veni Creator Spiritus 02:13  
2 All Who Labour 03:49  
3 You Are Love (St Francis) 02:39  
4 Let The Love That Dwells In Your Hearts (St Clare) 02:07  
5 Gaze, Consider, Contemplate (St Clare) 03:12  
6 Earthly Kingdoms 02:15  
7 Ave Maria 04:28  
8 Pange Lingua 03:00  
9 Ubi Caritas 02:01  
10 In Paradisum 01:40  
11 Love Him (St Clare) 02:39  
12 Agnus Dei 02:28  
13 May Your Love (Psalm 32) 02:22  
14 Creator Alme Siderum 02:48  
15 Attende Domine 03:23  
16 Oh Lord Hear My Voice (Psalm 27) 02:39  
17 Let The Love That Dwells In Your Hearts (St Clare) (Chill Mix) 04:50  
18 Veni Creator Spiritus (Chill Mix) 02:16  
19 All Who Labour (Chill Mix) 03:21  
20 Earthly Kingdoms (Chill Mix) 02:15  
21 All Who Labour (Saib Remix) 03:31  
22 Veni Creator Spiritus (Psalm Trees Remix) 02:27  
23 All Who Labour (Jazzinuf Remix) 02:42  
Album Trailer
Light For The World (album visualiser)

More than 800 years since they were founded, the Poor Clare Sisters of Arundel – a community of 23 nuns living in the south of England – have found themselves unexpected recording stars. Their album, Light for the World, released by Decca Records in October, is enjoying international chart success and they have become the UK's best-selling classical artist debut of 2020

Now, the Poor Clares are releasing a new digital deluxe version of their album, which combines traditional plainchant with added beats. The new album includes four brand new ‘chill' mixes – a soothing soundtrack for mindfulness and relaxation in challenging times.

Crossover Media Projects with: Poor Clare Sisters of Arundel