Our History

History of the Monastery of St. Clare of Andover, MA

Who is Saint Clare?image636

Saint Clare was a young and noble woman born in Assisi in 1193/4. With a heart prepared by the Holy Spirit, she was irresistibly drawn to the love of Jesus through the preaching and example of St. Francis. At the age of 18 she left everything to give herself totally to her humble Lord.

“Fix your heart on the image of the Divine Substance.”

   (Saint Clare)



“Hold fast to the words, the life, the teaching and the holy Gospel of Christ.”

(Saint Francis) 


As St. Francis was fired with the vision of being a Knight of his Crucified Lord, St. Clare strove to give herself totally in love to Him who had given Himself totally for her.


The form of life given to St. Clare and her sisters from St. Francis is “to live the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…”


Where are we from?

Protomonastery of Assisi

The Poor Clares of Andover can trace our “family tree” back to Saint Clare’s original community at San Damiano in Assisi.



In 1875 Mother Magdalen Bentivoglio brought the Poor Clare life to the United States. The first permanent monastery was eventually established in Omaha. Nebraska.  The Andover community was founded in 1947 by the community in Jamaica Plain. Originally we lived in a temporary monastery in Lowell. Since 1960 we have been living in Andover.

Lowell, MA


Jamaica Plain, Boston, MA

Our former monastery in Andover from 1960 until Sept. 29, 2001
Our current location since September 29, 2001