Clare was born in Assisi about 1193. Despite violent opposition from the men in her family, she decided to follow this new way of gospel life, inspired by both the preaching and the example of Francis.
She developed the new “form of life” in a community for women, marked by sisterly communion, prayer and manual labour, with no stable sources of revenue.
Combining elements of monastic life with the life of lay women penitents she created her own unique expression of “life according to the Holy Gospel.” Its innovative character, especially Clare’s insistence on work and begging to support her Sisters, alarmed church authorities, who time and again attempted to convince her to accept a more secure, more traditional lifestyle.
Forty years after beginning her “evangelical experiment,” Clare’s own Rule was approved, the first of its kind, written for women by a woman. Thus began the Poor Clares.