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Document Details :
Title: Agnes of Prague and the Rule of St. Clare
Author(s): MUELLER, Joan
Journal: Studies in Spirituality
Volume: 13 Date: 2003
Trying to establish women’s monasticism on firm foundations, Pope Gregory IX was eager to insure that monasteries of women were adequately endowed and juridically established according to the prescriptions of canon thirteen of the Fourth Lateran Council. To do this, Gregory IX needed the spiritual clout of Clare of Assisi whose fame was published in Thomas of Celano’s First Life of Saint Francis. Clare of Assisi, however, wished only to live the Privilege of Poverty – meaning that her monastery would be left without endowment from landed possessions. In 1234, the Bohemian princess, Agnes of Prague, joined the Franciscan Order wishing to form her monastery according to the primitive Franciscan ideal. Taking Clare’s side, Agnes used her political clout to influence the papacy and to negotiate a specifically Franciscan style of life for women that would eventually evolve into the Rule of Saint Clare.