Monastery of Poor Clares at Alençon

claalencon1redim - Monastery of Poor Clares at Alençon

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The History of our Monastery

Founded by the blessed Marguerite of Lorraine, the then Dukess of Alençon, the monastery welcomed the first thirteen sisters in 1501. In the XVIIth century, harassed by the huguenots, the community had to seek refuge in the Monastery of he Poor Clare Sisters of Argentan for some time. During the French Revolution, the monastery, which was located close to the Alençon Dukes’ Castle, was sacked and became a prison. Some of the sisters returned  to their family houses while the others got together clandestinely in a house close to Our Lady Church in order to, so they thought, « end their lives together ». In 1819, thanks to the support of a resistant priest from the county of Mayenne, the community, after welcoming 5 new young sisters, was able to buy a new monastery (the present one). In 1875, there were to be 76 sisters.

The Separation of the Church and the State, in the early XIXth century, was also to cause some problems to the Poor Clares of Alençon : a door which was forced, an inventory, the selling of the Monastery, which was bought back by the people of Alençon, who were outraged by the behaviour of the State towards the sisters.

The monastery today

Still profiting from the benevolence and friendship of the people of Alençon, our small community is today still pursuing their mission of listening and prayer, learning from Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisis.

Special features of our monastery

Located a few yards from the Martin family’s House (Saint Louis and Saint Zélie, the parents of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus), our chapel – where they would often come to pray – is open to the public during day time. It is posible to attend our services on the Internet, through the monastery’s Youtube channel :

Lauds at 8:05 am, the mass at 8:30 am, Vespers at 6 pm. See the link and thorough schedule on our Website.

About

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  • Federation : St Damien
  • Diocese: Séez
  • Ecclesiastical Province : Rouen

Contact our monastery

Monastère des clarisses
7 rue de la demi-lune
61 000 ALENCON