Poor Clares  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Poor Clares also known as the Order of Saint Clare, the Order of Poor Ladies, the Poor Clare Sisters, the Clarisse, the Minoresses, the Franciscan Clarist Congregation, and the Second Order of St. Francis, (In Latin ordo sanctae Clarae ), comprise several orders of nuns in the Catholic Church. The Poor Clares were the second Franciscan order to be established. Founded by Saints Clare of Assisi and Francis of Assisi on Palm Sunday in the year 1212, they were organized after the Order of Friars Minor (the first order), and before the Third Order of penitents or tertiaries, of which the secular part was later called the Secular Franciscan Order. As of 2004 there were over 20,000 Poor Clare nuns in over 20 observances and federations living in over 76 countries throughout the world.

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