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Agnes of Assisi, St.


Poor Clare abbess; b. Assisi, 1197; d. Assisi, Aug. 27, 1253. Sixteen days after her older sister, clare of assisi, fled from home to follow (St.) francis of assisi, Agnes joined her, first at San Angelo di Panzo, where she heroically withstood family opposition, and then at San Damiano. When the Benedictines of Monticelli asked to become poor clares, Francis sent Agnes to them as abbess (1219 or 1221). After returning to San Damiano in 1253, she witnessed the death of Clare and died soon after. She is said to have had a vision of the Christ Child, which her iconography sometimes depicts. Benedict XIV approved her cult in 1753. She is buried in S. Chiara, Assisi.

Feast: Nov. 16.

Bibliography: "Vita," Analecta Franciscana 3 (1897) 173182. thomas of celano, Legenda Sanctae Clarae virginis, ed. f. pennacchi (Assisi 1910). l. wadding, Scriptores Ordinis Minorum 1:141142; 2:1819; 3:350351. Vita di. s. Agnese di Assisi, compilata da una suora Clarissa (Lecce 1913). a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, rev. ed. h. thurston and d. attwater (New York 1956) 4:358359. Leben und Schriften der heiligen Klara von Assisi, ed. e. grau (2d ed. Werl 1953), legend ascribed to Thomas of Celano; Eng. tr. i. brady and m. f. laughlin (St. Bonaventure, N.Y. 1953) 3537. c. gennaro, "Clare, Agnes, and Their Earliest Followers: From the Poor Ladies of San Damiano to the Poor Clares," in d. bornstein and r. rusconi, eds., Women and Religion in Medieval and Renaissance Italy (Chicago, 1996) 3955. m. carney, The First Franciscan Woman: Clare of Assisi & Her Form of Life. (Quincy, IL 1993). e. petroff, "A Medieval Woman's Utopian Vision: The Rule of St. Clare of Assisi," in Body and Soul: Essays on Medieval Women and Mysticism (New York 1994) 6682. p. ranft, "An Overturned Victory: Clare of Assisi and the Thirteenth-century Church," in Journal of Medieval History 17 (1991), 123134. r. armstrong, Clare of Assisi: Early Documents (St. Bonaventure, N.Y. 1993).

[m. f. laughlin]

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