Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Poor Clare, born 28 December, 1653; died at Rouen, 21 Mary's 1735, daughter of Sir Robert Howard, younger son of Thomas, Earl of Berkshire in whose home Mary's early youth was spent. At the age of eighteen, to escape the admiration of Charles II, she went to Paris, under the assumed name of Talbot, and was placed in the Benedictine convent of Val de Grace to learn French; here she was received into the Church, a step which brought her into disfavour with Lady Osborne, her guardian in Paris. Remaining stanch in the face of persecution, she was finally permitted to retire to the convent of the Canonesses of St. Augustine at Chaillot, near Paris, where she remained several years, until her admission into the English convent of Poor Clares at Rouen, under the name of Parnel, to safeguard further the secret of her identity. Here she was made successively mistress of the choir, second and first portress, the latter a position involving the management of the temporal affairs of the convent, and in 1702, on the resignation of Mother Winefrid Clare Giffard, abbess since 1670, she became abbess of the community, which she governed with rare zeal and prudence till her death. Her profound piety and salutary instructions were never tainted by the errors of the false mysticism so widespread at the time. Her "Chief Points of our Holy Ceremonies" was published in 1726. Her other works, all in manuscript, are chiefly books of spiritual exercises, litanies, and other devotions.

More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • St. Eligius: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, December 01, 2015
  • 'Body lifted from the ground': Young Central American woman dies ...
  • Pope Francis does the unthinkable following emotional tragedy in ...
  • Opium, heroin or cocaine: What drug is YOUR country known for?
  • Parents' Prayer For Their Children HD Video
  • Daily Readings for Tuesday, December 01, 2015
  • Prayer For Faith HD Video

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 11:1-10
1 A shoot will spring from the stock of Jesse, a new shoot will grow from ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 72:1, 7-8, 12-13, 17
1 [Of Solomon] God, endow the king with your own fair judgement, the son ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 10:21-24
21 Just at this time, filled with joy by the Holy Spirit, he said, 'I ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 1st, 2015 Image

St. Eligius
December 1: Eligius (also known as Eloi) was born around 590 ... Read More