Letter of Cardinal Rainaldo dei Conti di Segni - 133 

Letter of Cardinal Rainaldo dei Conti di Segni


Cardinal Rainaldo dei Conti di Segni, later Pope Alexander IV (December 12, 1254 - May 25, 1261), was of the same illustrious family as Popes Innocent III and Gregory IX. In 1221, Rainaldo accompanied the then Cardinal Hugolino throughout Tuscany and Lombardy and, after Hugolino’s election to the papacy in 1227, to Rieti and Perugia.a It must have been during one of these journeys that he encountered the Poor Ladies of San Damiano.

Shortly after his election, Pope Gregory IX made his nephew a Cardinal Deacon and, shortly thereafter, charged him with care of the women religious. As the list of monasteries at the beginning of this letter indicates, their number had grown considerably.

1To my dear mothers, sisters, and daughters, the servants of Christ the Spouse, the Son of God; to the abbesses and communities of the poor monasteries of Saint Damian of Assisi: Santa Maria de ValleGloria, Perugia, Foligno, Florence, Lucca, Siena, Arezzo, Borgo, Acquaviva, Narni, Cittá di Castello, Todi, Santa Seraphia de Cortona, Faenza, Milan, Padua, Trent, Verona, Orvieto, Gubbio, San Paolo de Terni, San Paolo de Spoleto and de Cortona: Rainaldo, by divine kindness Cardinal Deacon of San Eustachio, Chamberlain of the Papal Household, [wishes you] health and an introduction into the royal wedding-chamber of the Spouse.

2Let your lips return the praises due to the Creator for His generosity. Let the strength of your soul be stretched in its desire for Him Whose abundance is so great in its blessings and gifts that we are




Clare of Assisi: Early Documents, p. 133