The PDFs below contain images of seventeenth-century printed books containing the Rule of St. Clare. Two 1621 printed books of the Rule of St Clare are bound with a 1622 printed version of the "Declarations and Ordinances made upon the Rule of Our Holy Mother S. Clare" (more commonly known today as the Constitutions of St Colette).
The first of these 1621 Rules was used by Eleanor Knott when, in 1948, she undertook a modern transcription of the Royal Irish Academy MS D i 2, the 1636 Rule in the hand of Br Mícheál Ó Cléirigh OFM. At the time this study was undertaken, the book was housed in the library of the Franciscan Friars of Merchant's Quay, Dublin, hence it has been referred to here as MQ as well as in a soon-to-be published article in Archivium Hibernicum, the journal of the Catholic Historical Society of Ireland. The PDF below contains pages 3-49 of the book i.e. the Rule only.
The second 1621 book has been housed in our monastery from time immemorial. It was printed in Spanish Flanders ( probably St Omer) in the early- seventeenth century and brought to Ireland by Irish sisters who sought to establish the Order in Ireland. This document is referred to as G (for Galway) in the upcoming article. The PDF contains all 80 pages of the book.
The third PDF contains images of the Rule of St. Clare printed in a 1684 book produced for the Poor Clare Community of Aire. This is a lightly edited edition of the 1621 Rule.
(Higher definition images of those contained in these PDFs can be requested from: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good; I shall do His work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it if I do but keep His commandments.
Therefore, I will trust Him, whatever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him, in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him. If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. He does nothing in vain. He knows what He is about. He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me. Still, He knows what He is about.
Bl John Henry Newman