The Life of Saint Francis by Thomas of Celano - 197 

aided by the grace of the Most High.a
This is the blessed and holy place where
the glorious religion and most excellent Order
of Poor Ladies and holy virgins
had its happy beginning,
about six years after the conversion of the blessed Francis
and through that same blessed man.

The Lady Clare,b
a native of the city of Assisi,
the most precious and strongest stone of the whole structure,
stands as the foundation for all the other stones.c
after the beginning of the Order of Brothers,
when this lady was converted to God
through the counsel of the holy man,
she lived for the good of many
and as an example to countless others.
Noble by lineage, but more noble by grace,d
chaste in body, most chaste in mind,
young in age, mature in spirit,
steadfast in purpose and most eager in her desire for divine love,
endowed with wisdom and excelling in humility,
bright in name, more brilliant in life, most brilliant in character.e
19 A noble structure of precious pearls arose above this woman,
whose praise comes not from mortals but from God,
since our limited understanding is not sufficient to imagine it,
nor our scanty vocabulary to utter it.




Vita Prima, Fontes Franciscani, p. 294

gratia ipsum Altissimi comitante,
in brevi eam tempore studiosius reparavit.
4Hic est locus ille beatus et sanctus, in quo
gloriosa religio et excellentissimus ordo
pauperum Dominarum et sanctarum virginum,
a conversione beati Francisci fere sex annorum
spatio iam elapso, per eumdem beatum virum
felix exordium sumpsit;

5in quo domina Clara,
civitate Assisii oriunda,
lapis pretiosissimus atque fortissimus
caeterorum superpositorum lapidum exstitit fundamentum.
cum post initiationem ordinis Fratrum,
dicta domina sancti viri monitis
ad Deum conversa fuisset,
multis exstitit ad profectum
et innumeris ad exemplum.
7Nobilis parentela sed nobilior gratia;
virgo carne, mente castissima;
aetate iuvencula sed animo cana;
8constans proposito et in divino amore ardentissima desiderio;
sapientia praedita et humilitate praecipua:
Clara nomine, vita clarior, clarissima moribus.
191Super hanc quoque pretiosissimarum margaritarum nobilis structura surrexit,
quarum laus non ex hominibus sed ex Deo est
cum nec angusta meditatio eam cogitare sufficiat,
nec brevis locutio explicare.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 197