The historiography of the Order of Friars Minor and its founder, St Francis of Assisi (1181/82–1226), is long and complex. Scholars have written volumes about this charismatic man, searching for new understandings of his spirituality and that of his powerful yet divided Order.2 However, it is only more recently that scholars have given this same level of attention to St Clare of Assisi (1194–1253), first abbess and namesake of the Second Order of Franciscans, the Poor Ladies of San Damiano (at other times, the Poor Clares or the Order of St Clare). It was not until the early twentieth century that the early sources pertaining to Clare were first transcribed and translated from their manuscript originals.3 Clare was canonized with great speed in 1255, two years after her death, and the office for her dies natalis (the day she died and was born into eternal life) was added to the Franciscan liturgy in 1260.4 This chapter will examine whether or not the feasts of Clare – her dies natalis on 12 August and her translatio (the moving of her body from the church of San Giorgio to the newly built Basilica di Santa Chiara, which occurred in 1260) on 2 October – are present in the calendar, litany and sanctoral cycle of five thirteenth and fourteenth-century Franciscan liturgical manuscripts from Umbria (Figure 1.1). Also present within the selected manuscripts are the same feasts for Francis and Anthony of Padua (Figures 1.2 and 1.3).
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