Monastery of St Clare at Nantes



The History of our Monastery

Arriving in Nantes in 1457, the Poor Clares were sufficiently numerous to found a monastery at Dinan in 1488. In 1662, the community restarted the monastery at Hesdin in Artois. But in 1792, the sisters were imprisoned, and others took refuge with individuals. In 1859, six Poor Clares came from the monastery in Marseille to recreate the community at Nantes. The latter had taken off again, when, in 1911, the expulsion order arrived. After six years in exile near to Turin, the sisters headed back. Once again, recruits flocked to the monastery which enabled it to refound the monastery at Rheims in 1933, to reinforce the communities of Montbrison (1936) and Perpignan (1939). In 1969, two sisters left to participate in the foundation in Madagascar.

The monastery today

Composed of about thirty sisters aged 23 to 91, the community of the Monastery of St Clare at Nantes lives, like all Poor Clares, fraternal life in simplicity and joy ; time is shared between prayer, fraternal sharing and various work. At Nantes, the upkeep of the monastery and garden, kitchen, care of elderly sisters, bookbinding and printing, liturgical vestments, welcoming groups etc. enable us to bring out and use the different gifts and skills of the sisters.

Special features of our monastery

Situated in the heart of the town, the monastery is frequented by numerous people from Nantes and is very much in contact with the Franciscan family. The community now has daughter houses, grand-daughter houses and great-granddaughter houses, not only in France but also in Africa and Madagascar. Today the monastery continues its journey, enriched by the presence of Gabonese and Madagascan sisters.



  • Federation : St Damien
  • Diocese : Nantes
  • Ecclesiastical Province : Rennes

Contact our monastery

Monastère Sainte Claire
(ou Atelier Sainte Claire)
20, rue Molac
44 000 NANTES