The history
of the angelicall virgin
S. Clare,

Dedicated to the Queens
most excellent majesty.

Extracted out of the R. F. Luke
his Annalls of the Freer Minors
chiefly by Francis Hendricq and now
donne into English
By sister Magdalen Augustine, of the
holy Order of the Poore Clares
in Aire.

Imprinted at Douay, by Martin Bocart
under the signe of Paris.


á2v á2r

To the most high
and mighty princesse,
Mary Henriette,
queen of Great
France and Ireland:
and souveraigne lady
of the iles of the
British Ocean

May it please your most gracious

Being to publish to the view
of the World, the Life of the Mirour
and Princesse of Religious Foundresses S. Clare;
and being, according to the Custome no lesse
frequented than laudable, to bethink our selves of
some grand Personage, under whose Protection it
might passe, it seemed to us impertinent to entertaine
any long Consult, to that purpose, seeing your
Majestie, did at the very first deliberation, occurse
to our thoughts, accompanied with many Titles
clayming to your matchles Excellencie, the Dedicatory
addresse and Protection of the worke. For first,
if weedflawed-reproductionapprox. 1 word the Royall and thrice renownedá2 ned á2v
Progenie of France, from whence your Majestie
is extracted, it seemeth a thing proper, if not
hereditary, to that Princely familie, to be addicted to
the children of our Seraphical Father, S. Francis.
To whom God communicated Abraham’s priviledge
(INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Genes. 12.) “I will blesse them that
blesse thee and curse them that curse thee.”
so much, as that great Honour of France, and
glory of Kings, S. Lewis who (being by his Mother,
for her singular Devotion to our holy Father,
tendred to the Freers to be educated by them in
their Monastery) sayd: that yf he could part and
divide himselfe in two, he would bequeath one part
of himselfe to the Freers: but being he was not able,
for the important affaires of his Crowne in so strict
a manner to become a child of our holy Father, he
made himselfe a Member of his Third Order; for
which reason, he hath merited an immortall glory
in the Roll of the saints of that Order. And indeed,
what your Majesties Devotion hath been towards
S. Francis, you have yeelded sufficient proof and
testimonie thereof; when before your comming into
England (as we are informed) together with your
Royall Brother K. Lewis, now prepotent Monarch
of France, you publicly at Paris, with him, received
S. Francis Cord, a Symbole and Recognisance
of the Sacred Passion of our Souveraigne
Redeemer, for which this Sodalitie is enstiled the
Arch confraternitie, as having a more honorable
Institution and Dedication than any other Confraternitie
whatsoever. Againe: yf we proposed to our
Consideration, the supereminencie of this first Plant of á3r
of S. Francis, I meane our holy Mother S. Clare:
we shall find that she by singular Prerogative
of Evangelicall Povertie, both in proper
and in common, (which never any other Religious
foundresse professed before her:) merited to be in that
eminent degree so espoused to her Lord Christ Jesus
though Poore, yet a King, that she must needs consequently
also be (as we may so say) a Princesse
and Queen. Which being so, she would esteeme
it an abridgment or disparagement to her Honour, to
be recommended to the favorable acceptance of any
other than a Queen and especially to such a one as
we have formerly delineated and represented. Finally:
if we did but set before our eyes the manifold
starres of virtues, which render this saint most
illustrious, we shall find also your Majestie, by a
certaine semblance, to be also conspicuous for the vanitie
of your many perfections environning and compassing
your Princely Robes. For should we with S.
, Seraphical Doctour of the Church,
proclaime her “most endeared to God, the flower
of the Spring, yeelding a most fragrant
odour, and a most refulgent bright-shining
The same (without offence) we would proportionably
depredicate of your Majestie. If ravished
with her eminencie, we should breake forth, with
Pope Alexander the Fourth, into that admiration,
“O admirable glorie or Claritie of B.S.
, which by how much the more studiously
in all things she is contemplated: by so
much the more she appeares Cleare, Renowned
& Resplendent:”
The same admiracion of your á3 Highnes á3v
Highnes Excellencie in perfection, observing a due
proportion, would we utter and promulge: did we
not know your Majesties Feminine and Religious
Modestie, not to delight to view the Register
of your incomparable and indeed unspeakables
praises. And likewise, did we not understand full
well, that our Profession is not to celebrate (Rhetorically)
or praise, but to pray incessantly. We will
therefore, ever pray the only Ruler of Princes,
which hath set a Diademe of pure gold upon your
head, to preusent you with the blessings of his goodnes,
and grant unto your Majestie a long and prosperous
joynt-reigne with our Soveraigne Liege-Lord, King
and a glorious Race from your Royall
loynes to the Crowne. The enjoyance of which happines
that youu may, by the powerfull intercession of
our All-Immaculate Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary:
his great servant the Seraphicall Father, and
the Angelicall Virgin our holy Mother S. Clare,
(whose Life heer wee, prostrate in al, humility, tender
to your Gracious hands) which happines (we say)
that your Majestie may long heer, and in the future
for ever and ever, in full possession obtaine, wee shall
professe our unworthy selves ever to be, and remaine.

Your Majesties
Most humble, and dayly
devoted Beads-women

The English poore-Clares
of Aire


To the Reader.

Gentle Reader:

Loe heer presented to thy
view, the Life of a Saint; of Feminine
Sexe, but Masculine Virtue.
I will not, by fore speaking
her praises, prevent the Book, but to prepare
thee, to reade it with better profit, is my present
Dessigne. Thou mayst (haply) find therein
it please thy curiositie, and to polish thy un
derstanding; but the mortified Recluse, that travelled
in this Translation, had an ayme at thy
greater Benefit. God Almighty hath made His
saints renowned for Virtue, that they might be
exemplary; and they which commended their
beings to Posteritie, or do represent them to
the view of present tymes, wish this only Reward
of their Industry, that others be excited
by the imitation of their Heroicke actions:
sadly adventuring on the Censure of Many, yf
they may procure the spirituall cōommoditie of a
1 wordflawed-reproduction Say not, I am unwilling to walk this way,
for I am not bound to perfection: rather esteem
thy selfe bound, and deferre not thy endeavours
to become perfect. It is true, their obligationgation á4v
this flawed-reproductionapprox. 2 wordsgreater, that lye under the
Command of a solemne Vow; but for as much
as all are obliged to walke in the wayes of virtue,
and it is not lawfull to stop, til we arrive to
the highest point, therefore to Perfection all
are bound. And because Perfection can not be
attained, without fit meanes; and a prudent
choise is requisite in this regard: therefore, albeit
None, of Necessitie, yet in Congruitie, All
are bound, to make such election as may most
readily conduct them to that Noble end whereunto
they aspire. It is no disparagement to other
Religious Foundresses, or the devout and
zealous followers of their holy Institutes, to
affirme, that (herein) B. S. Clare hath surpassed
them all: and in Her (though a wonder of women)
it is lesse admirable, yf we recount from
whom she received Her Forme of Living. For
as that great Deliverer of the Law of Nature
having held fourtie dayes conference with
God in Mount Sinai, was priviledged from erring
in his directions to the People, so long as
he hkept him to the “patterne that was shewed him
in the Mount:” INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Exod.25
so that greater Patriarck S. Francis
after fourtie dayes familiar entercourse with
the World’s Redeemer, in Mont-Alverne, had
having received a better Law, a Rule of higher
perfection, and descending from the Mount
(not only with glory in his face, but the sacred
Wounds of our Saviours dread Passion in his
hands, feet and side) delivered to his Brethren
and followers to the World’s end, the sublime Institute ć1r
Institute of Evangelicall povertie: and according
to this Patterne, and by advise of this
Unerring Directour B. S. Clare began Her Order,
which hath since beene propagated as
farre as the World is Christned. It is this transcendent
Povertie (courteous Reader) this perfect
abdication of all manner of proprietie, not
only in proper (which other Religious Orders
have) but in common also (the distinctive
cognisance of S. Francis children) which I have
to commend to Thee, as the most compēendious
way to perfection heer, and immortalitie hereafter.
Is it not a wonder, that this Angelicall
Virgin, having cast away all care of temporall
things, should be in continuall care, how she
might leave this Patrimonie to her children,
that they might enjoy Nothing; making this
Her instant Suite to the See Apostolique and
greatly exulting, when she had gained this
Priviledge? And yet they will cease to wonder,
that consider, what extraordinary priviledges
this sacred Poverty hath annexed to it. There
would be no end in reciting the many Elogies
given by pious and devout Persons to this
Soveraigne Lady, this Evangelicall poverty: but
let it not seeme tedious that I recount some of
Her Prerogatives, confirmed to Her by Pattent
of holy writ.


Art thou Poore? then thou art Rich. A Paradoxe,
you say. ’Tis easily proved Povertie is
the Riches which purchaseth Heaven “The Hungry
(the poore) he hath filled with good things, ć and ć1v
and the Rich he hath sent away empty.” INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Luc. I.


Art thou Poore? by relinquishing all. “Not
only in preparation of mynd, but also effectually for
the love of God”
. It is an Argument of thy perfection,
“If Thou wilt be perfect goe and sell all &c.”
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Matth.19.


Art thou Poore? thy prayers have ready
accesse and present speed at the Throne of
Grace. “The poore man hath cried and our Lord
hath heard him.”


Art thou Poore? Thou shalt obtaine pardon
and mercy at God’s hand. “He will spare the
poore and the needy.”


Art thou Poore? Thou art highly dignifyed
and ennobled. “Their name shalbe honorable before
him.” INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Psal.71
To which sense our B. Saviour spake,
when having given S. Peter his reward of povertie
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Matth.19. he addeth: “and many shalbe
first, that are last, and last”
(that is, in celestiall renowne)
“that are first” (to withere in temporall
riches and dignities.)


Art thou Poore? Thou shalt be filled with
all manner of comfort. “Thou hast prepared in thy
sweetnes for the Poore of God.”


Art thou Poore? Thou shalt be protected
from violence; and they shalbe smitten that
offer injury to thee. “Doe not violence to the poore,
neither oppresse the needy in the gate, because our
Lord will judge his cause, and will pierce them
that have pierced his soule.” INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Psal.33
And, “He shall save
the children of the Poore,” INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Prov.22
“and humble the calumniator.”
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Psal.71

8. Art ć2r


Art thou Poore? Then art thou like to
Christ, “who” INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.2.Cor.8 (as witnesseth the Apostle) “for you
was made poore, whereas he was rich, that by his
povertie you might be rich.”
And, heare Christ
himselfe: Unles every one of you renounceth all that
he possesseth he can not be my disciple.”
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Luc.14.


Art thou Poore? Thou hast gained a haven
of securitie; thou art freed from cares in the
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.4.Reg.
house, and impediments in the way. When K.
was led into Captivity, all the Princes
and Noblemen were caryed away also, “and
nothing was left”
(sayth the Scripture) save the
Poore sort of the People of the Land.”


Art thou Poore? Thou art freed from that
Curse. “Woe unto you that are Rich, for you have
our consolation.”


Art thou Poore? God will himselfe be solicitous
of thee, & will inspire others to releeve
thee, to their unspeakable benefit. “But I am a
begger and poore: our Lord is carefull of me.” INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Ps.39
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.psalm.
(a priviledge which the Royall Prophet
calleth memoriam mirabilium: INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.psalm.110.)
And, “Blessed is the man that understandeth concerning
the needy and the poore: in the Evill day our
Lord will deliver him”
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Psal.40. Whence Tobit animateth
his Sonne: saying, “Thou dost treasure up
to thy selfe a good reward in the day of necessitie:
because Almes delivereth from all sinne and from
Death, and will not suffer the soule to goe into Darknes.”
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Chap. 4.


Art thou Poore? Thou shalt assuredly attaine
Salvation, and yf by flawed-reproductionapprox.2 words renunciation ć2 of ć2v
of All, the prerogative of eminent glory. “And
every one that hath left house or brethren &c. for my
Names sake, shall receive an hundred fold and shall
possesse life everlasting.”
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Matth 19. “and you shall”
(vers. precedent) sit upon twelve seates judging
the twelve Tribes of Israel.”

Nay, theirs is the kingdome of Heaven.
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Matt.5. “Blessed are Poore for theirs is the kingdome
of Heaven.”
Ponder the word, “is”: He speaketh
not in the Future, as in the other beatitudes.
Whence S. Bernard. “What a strong wing is Povertie,
wherby we have a sudden flight to Heaven? For
in the other virtues which follow, the promise runnes
in the future tense, but to Povertie it is rather
given than promised, whence it is said in the present
tense, because theirs is the kingdome of Heaven:
but in the rest, they shall inherit: they shall be comforted:
they shall possesse, &c.”
So He.

Loe heer the Patrimonie of the Poore:
twelve Honours or Priviledges: an ample provision.
So well assured, that you may call them
the twelve Articles of the Poore man Cred: rather,
Symbolum Apostolorum, the Badge and cognisance
of the Apostles: the contents of their Obedience,
when they were dismissed by their
grand Maister and Superior, on their Embassie
to all quarters of the World. “Possesse neither Silver
nor gold nor mony in your purse, neither a wallet
nor staffe nor shoes to your feet. &c.”
Hence it is
that our Holy Mother of the Church hath graced
the Institute of the Seraphicall Father, with the
Title of Apostolorum, calling their manner of Living ć3r
Living, the Rule of most eminent perfection, and
their Povertie, Evangelicall, that tread in the steps
of holy S. Francis, so neerly assimilating them
to Christ and his Apostles, that no Rank of
poore, Religious or others, can so justly claime
to that high priviledge, the greatest of those
formerly recited.

Now Beloved yf this discourse have given
thee any rellish of the way of Perfection, attend
to thy Vocation. Thou wantest not glorious
Precedents to set before thee. Consider
Him, who (as yf Earth afforded something
more precious than Heaven) came to seek Poverty
heer, which there was not to be found.
Whence S Benard, sweetly: “Povertie could not
be found in Heaven. Now on earth was abundance
of this kind, and man knew not the worth of it. Our
Lord (therfore) the Sonne of God, enamoured on this
Povertie, descended from Heaven, to Espouse Her to
himselfe, and by the account which he held of Her, to
make her deare and amiable to us also.”
(O worthy
of worthies which the world sets so little by and
is not worthy of!) And be secure, that this thy
Christian fortitude shall be gloriously crowned.
For yf his Povertie made us Rich (as testifieth
the Apostle) what shall his Riches doe?
Doubtless, He that was Rich with his Father,
but poore with us, Rich in Heaven, but poore on
Earth, a Rich God, but a poore man: shall soone
change our Povertie into Riches, our Sack-cloth
into Stoles of immortalitie, our teares into joy
and exultation, our momentarie suffering into ´3 Blisse ć3v
Blisse World without end.

There occurreth now to advertise thee of
some things before I take my penne from the
paper: first that there are some sworne enemies
(howsoever they disguise themselves) of
Poore Religiouns; that can not endure to see
them meritoriously exercise their humble profession
even to begge only that which is necessary
for clothing and foode to sustaine life in
the service of God, as though this, were to
seeke after riches, to heape up treasures & the
like: which Religiouns no lesse abhorre & contemne
then they flawed-reproduction1 word impose upōon them,
to impaire their Credits viciating according
to their usuall manner that which is truly laudable:
to whom appertaineth those words of
S Basile Const INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Mon. c7. That such seculars
hath he knowes not what strange conceit of
Religious as if together with there state
they had presently changed their nature, and
were not men, but of some other farre different
mold: and consequently they wrong the
servants of God, & think sometimes, that they
must scarce eate meate, as if they were not
made of flesh and blood: and if they see anie
of them attend to the necessities of their bodie,
they load them with reproaches and slanders
and turning their calumniations from one upon
all the rest, they cal them all gluttons and
hellie-Gods, & think not how themselves doe
dayly feast it, and though they eate of ten in a
day, and cram themselves with a great deale of flesh ć4r
flesh meate, & powre downe wine by whole
bowle-fuls, yet they gape after meate, as dogs
that are let loose out of their chayne halfe
starved. Thus speaketh S. Basil in defence
of Religious people.

Secondly, I trust, that as the desire of thy
spirituall profit caused the undertaking of
this translation (which is totally out of the
R. F. Francis Hendriques) that thou wilt be
pleased, of thy courtesie, to correct patiently,
and cover charitably the faults escaped, both
in the print, and English. Thus, wishing
thee (deare Reader, by the perusall of this
little volume, all fartherance in vertue, either
by admiring Gods goodnesse, and power
in his Saints, (in whom he is admirable) or
by reducing to practise that which with proportion
sutes with thy sex, or state; mindefull
of that of S. Augustine, that, “the examples
of the Just are not proposed to our view that wee
should be Justifyed by them, but that by imitation
of them, we may likewise merit to be Justifyed
by their Justifyer”
: I will surcease to detaine
you any longer.