By Lezlie S. Knox
Previous scholarship has characterised girl Franciscanism as an establishment tested via Clare of Assisi in collaboration with Saint Francis. This knowing is anachronistic, besides the fact that, and overlooks the extra complex disputes over what it intended for enclosed girls to have a mendicant vocation.
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Extra info for Creating Clare of Assisi: Female Franciscan Identities in Later Medieval Italy (The Medieval Franciscans, Volume 5)
The opening of the story presents the lamb as an allegorical symbol to talk about Francis’ compassion for the poor, but it obviously also was a real animal which he gave to the sisters. 25 Thomas’ later biography also refers to this community as the place where Francis first met Brother Pacifico prior to the latter’s religious profession. 26 Gianmario Borri has argued that this house is the earliest example of Herbert Grundmann, Religious Movements in the Middle Ages, pp. 109–124. “Pynzochere qua de pulvere nuperrime surrexerunt,” quoted in Sensi, “La Scelta Topotetica,” p.
It allowed for the possibility that the friars would have this responsibility in the future. Francis was concerned with protecting the reputation of his Order— the charge of over-familiarity with women was a common charge against heretics—but there also is evidence to suggest that he was trying to restrain a growing problem. Some brothers recalled that Francis had chastised friars who visited the women’s houses too frequently or willingly. 42 As more female communities made demands on the Order, he expected the friars to follow his personal example and remain distant from enclosed women.
He felt real affection as well for houses like San Colpersito. As he tried to adapt to the rapid growth of his Order and increasing pastoral demands on the brothers, however, Francis withdrew from this position. When the number of convents making claims on the friars increased and the friars grew so numerous that Francis ceased to have personal influence on their formation, he tried to separate the men and women and complained about the friars’ obligations to these convents. San Damiano had a privileged relationship with the brothers because of Francis’ affection for Clare, but there was yet no juridical tie between Clare’s community or any other Clarian house and the Friars Minor.