mardi 19 novembre 2013

Sainte AGNÈS D'ASSISE, vierge, abbesse et fondatrice

Sainte Agnès d'Assise

Sœur de Sainte Claire d'Assise ( 1253)

Sœur cadette de sainte Claire, elle dut vaincre les oppositions violentes de sa famille pour embrasser cette vie de pauvreté à la suite du "Petit Pauvre". Après quelques années à Assise, elle ira gouverner à Florence l'un des monastères des "Pauvres Dames" de saint François. Elle le fit avec bonté pour sa communauté et charité pour les pauvres. Elle fonda également des monastères à Venise et à Mantoue. Elle revint mourir à Assise, à Saint Damien, selon son plus cher désir.

À Assise en Ombrie, au monastère de Saint-Damien, en 1253, sainte Agnès, vierge. Sœur cadette de sainte Claire, elle la suivit dans la fleur de sa jeunesse et, sous la conduite de saint François, embrassa de tout son cœur la pauvreté.

Martyrologe romain


Sainte Agnès d'Assise

Née à Assise en 1197, Catherine rejoignit sa sœur Claire au monastère bénédictin de Saint-Ange de Panso près d’Assise, le 4 avril 1212, pour vivre elle aussi sous la conduite de François d’Assise. Elle résista courageusement à sa famille qui voulait l’arracher de ce monastère ; c’est à la suite de cette lutte que François lui donna le nom d’Agnès, en souvenir de la jeune martyre qui résista à ses bourreaux. Peu après avec l’autorisation de l’Evêque Guido, François installe les deux sœurs à Saint-Damien. En 1219, Agnès est nommée, à Florence, abbesse d’un monastère de Bénédictines rattachées à la Règle de Saint-Damien. La séparation fut pénible pour Agnès, mais elle s’en remet à Dieu et poursuit sa tâche sans défaillir ; elle établira plus tard la vie franciscaine dans deux autres monastères, à Mantoue et à Venise. Lorsqu’elle appris que la fin de Claire était proche, elle revint à Assise pour l’assister. Trois mois plus tard, le 16 novembre 1253 elle rejoignait sa sœur dans la vie éternelle. Son corps fut inhumé à saint Damien et transféré dans la basilique sainte Claire en 1260. Le Pape Benoît XIV autorisa son culte en 1751.

St. Agnes of Assisi

St. Agnes was the sister of St. Clare and her first follower. When Agnes left home two weeks after Clare’s departure, their family attempted to bring Agnes back by force. They tried to drag her out of the monastery, but all of a sudden her body became so heavy that several knights could not budge it. Her uncle Monaldo tried to strike her but was temporarily paralyzed. The knights then left Agnes and Clare in peace.

Agnes matched her sister in devotion to prayer and in willingness to endure the strict penances which characterized their lives at San Damiano. In 1221 a group of Benedictine nuns in Monticelli (near Florence) asked to become Poor Clares. St. Clare sent Agnes to become abbess of that monastery. Agnes soon wrote a rather sad letter about how much she missed Clare and the other nuns at San Damiano. After establishing other Poor Clare monasteries in northern Italy, Agnes was recalled to San Damiano in 1253 when Clare was dying.

Agnes followed Clare in death three months later. Agnes was canonized in 1753.

St. Agnes of Assisi

Younger sister of St. Clare and Abbess of the Poor Ladies, born at Assisi, 1197, or 1198; died 1253. She was the younger daughter of Count Favorino Scifi. Her saintly mother, Blessed Hortulana, belonged to the noble family of the Fiumi, and her cousin Rufino was one of the celebrated "Three Companions" of St. Francis. Agnes's childhood was passed between her father's palace in the city and his castle of Sasso Rosso on Mount Subasio. On 18 March, 1212, her eldest sister Clare, moved by the preaching and example of St. Francis, had left her father's home to follow the way of life taught by the Saint. Sixteen days later Agnes repaired to the monastery of St. Angelo in Panso, where the Benedictine nuns had afforded Clare temporary shelter, and resolved to share her sister's life of poverty and penance. At this step the fury of Count Favorino knew no bounds. He sent his brother Monaldo, with several relatives and some armed followers, to St. Angelo to force Agnes, if persuasion failed, to return home. The conflict which followed is related in detail in the "Chronicles of the Twenty-four Generals." Monaldo, beside himself with rage, drew his sword to strike the young girl, but his arm dropped, withered and useless, by his side; others dragged Agnes out of the monastery by the hair, striking her, and even kicking her repeatedly. Presently St. Clare came to the rescue, and of a sudden Agnes's body became so heavy that the soldiers having tried in vain to carry her off, dropped her, half dead, in a field near the monastery. Overcome by a spiritual power against which physical force availed not, Agnes's relatives were obliged to withdraw and to allow her to remain with St. Clare. St. Francis, who was overjoyed at Agnes's heroic resistance to the entreaties and threats of her pursuers, presently cut off her hair and gave her the habit of Poverty. Soon after, he established the two sisters at St. Damian's, in a small rude dwelling adjoining the humble sanctuary which he had helped to rebuild with his own hands. There several other noble ladies of Assisi joined Clare and Agnes, and thus began the Order of the Poor Ladies of St. Damian's, or Poor Clares, as these Franciscan nuns afterwards came to be called. From the outset of her religious life, Agnes was distinguished for such an eminent degree of virtue that her companions declared she seemed to have discovered a new road to perfection known only to herself. As abbess, she ruled with loving kindness and knew how to make the practice of virtue bright and attractive to her subjects. In 1219, Agnes, despite her youth, was chosen by St. Francis to found and govern a community of the Poor Ladies at Monticelli, near Florence, which in course of time became almost as famous as St. Damian's. A letter written by St. Agnes to Clare after this separation is still extant, touchingly beautiful in its simplicity and affection. Nothing perhaps in Agnes's character is more striking and attractive than her loving fidelity to Clare's ideals and her undying loyalty in upholding the latter in her lifelong and arduous struggle for Seraphic Poverty. Full of zeal for the spread of the Order, Agnes established from Monticelli several monasteries of the Poor Ladies in the north of Italy, including those of Mantua, Venice, and Padua, all of which observed the same fidelity to the teaching of St. Francis and St. Clare. In 1253 Agnes was summoned to St. Damian's during the last illness of St. Clare, and assisted at the latter's triumphant death and funeral. On 16 November of the same year she followed St. Clare to her eternal reward. Her mother Hortulana and her younger sister Beatrice, both of whom had followed Clare and Agnes into the Order, had already passed away. The precious remains of St. Agnes repose near the body of her mother and sisters, in the church of St. Clare at Assisi. God, Who had favoured Agnes with many heavenly manifestations during life, glorified her tomb after death by numerous miracles. Benedict XIV permitted the Order of St. Francis to celebrate her feast. It is kept on 16 November, as a double of the second class.

Robinson, Paschal. "St. Agnes of Assisi." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 11 Aug. 2015 <>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Paul T. Crowley. Dedicated to Mother Mary Frances, PCC, Abbess, Poor Clare Monastery of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Roswell, NM.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. March 1, 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.


Agnes of Assisi, Poor Clare V (AC)

Born in Assisi, Italy, c. 1197; died 1253; cultus confirmed by Benedict XIV. Saint Agnes is the younger sister of Saint Clare. When she was 15, she joined Clare at the Benedictine convent of Sant'Angelo di Panzo near Assisi, determined to follow her sister's life of poverty and penance, resisted her relative's attempts to force her to return home, and was given the habit by Saint Francis and sent to San Damiano with Clare, thus founding the Poor Clares.

She was made abbess of the Poor Clares convent at Monticelli near Florence by Francis in 1219, established convents at Mantua, Venice, and Padua, and supported her sister's struggle for poverty in their order.

Agnes was with Clare at her death in San Damiano and herself died three months later, on November 16, reportedly as predicted by Clare. Many miracles have been reported at her tomb in Santa Chiara church in Assisi (Benedictines, Delaney).

In art Agnes is portrayed as a young nun in the habit of a Poor Clare (brown or grey habit, black veil lined with white) holding a book. Sometimes she is shown with her elder sister Saint Clare or with her brothers dragging her by the hair from their sister's convent. Venerated in Assisi, Florence, and Monticelli (Roeder).


St. Agnes of Assisi

Feast Day: November 19

Caterina was born in Assisi, Italy, around 1197 or 1198. She was the younger daughter of a royal family. Caterina was very close to her older sister, Clare, and they spent most their time together. The sisters heard St. Francis of Assisi preach, and they wanted to imitate his example of living a simple life of service to others. When they told their father that they wanted to live like Francis, he said he would never allow it to happen.

One night, Clare snuck out of the house and went to live at a Benedictine convent. Two weeks later, Caterina joined her. The family went to the convent to force the sisters to return home, but the sisters refused to leave, even when soldiers tried to force them to do so. They were sure that God was calling them to this new life. The young women traded their jeweled belts for knotted ropes and they cut their hair short. With Francis’ leadership, they founded an order of nuns called the Poor Clares, and Caterina was given the name Agnes.

Francis put Clare in charge of the new order. As more and more women joined them, Francis asked Agnes to establish a new convent in another town. Later, she founded convents in three other cities in Italy. The Poor Clare nuns owned nothing and depended on contributions for their food. Agnes’ life was a prayerful example for all the sisters in her order. She led them in being faithful to the teaching of Jesus and St. Francis. She died just a few months after her sister, Clare, in 1253. The church honored her as a saint in 1753.

St. Agnes of Assisi teaches us to live the first beatitude: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). Instead of caring so much about materials possessions and the things we own, we can imitate St. Agnes. We can put all our trust in showing our love for God.