S. Maria del Donne
Community ID
Medieval Location
Outside of the Porta Romana in a suburb that extended in Piana de S. Panofilo, along the anciant Salaria -- this was also a place for wool- and silk-workers.
Date Founded
Religious Order
Poor Clares
Foundation Information

Founded under Bishop Marcellino Pete, when the citizens demanded the foundation of a convent similar to St. Clare's. In 1232, the bishop sent for two religious women of S. Damiano. The buildings were begun in 1232 and finished by 1234 [Marcucci, p. 242; as cited by Giorgi on p. 66].

Notable Members/Residents/Guests

Chiara Tibaldeschi married Beato Marco de Montegallo, a physician, but they did not consummate their marriage, and in a year's time, in 1452, she withdrew to S. Maria delle Donne and he went to Valdisasso, near Fabriano. Also, in 1327, a certain sister Lucia became the love-object of the poet, doctor and astrologer, Frencesco Stabili, better known as Cecco d'Ascoli. He wrote her a sonnet, but it is certain that his love was not reciprocated.

Population Counts

In 1460, 22 members transfered from Sant' Angelo. In 1489, Abbess Lisbetta and 14 sisters forgave the citizens of Ascoli (see "Miscellaneous Information," below).

Priveleges & Papal Exemptions

The convent was the subject of a bull of Gregory IX, issued March 28, 1233.


See "Miscellaneous Information," below.

Social Characteristics

Daughters of the nobility

Miscellaneous Information

Until the 15th century, the community was noted for its sanctity. In 1431, Pope Eugene IV sent a Breve to the Generals of Minors in which he complained that, in some of the monasteries of the Clarisse sisters, they did not wear the required uniform, and that there were dissensions and scandals. He wanted the Generals to visit these monasteries, enforcing rigorous claustration, deposing the abbesses who could not enforce the rules, transferring to other monasteries the undisciplined nuns, and relying on secular authorities when necessary. The faults apparently multiplied and, in 1437, the Pope ordered that all goods were to be taken away from worthless monasteries and transferred to houses within the same order, or to churches, or to hospitals. However, these orders were not minded in Ascoli. On July 9, 1460, the nuns of S. Angelo had to transfer to S. Maria delle Donne according to the Preve of Pope Pius II. Some did not stay at S. Maria delle Donne, but were transferred to Santo Spirito e Santa Maria delle Vergini, with Benedictine rule. In 1488, Cardinal Filippo Calandrini, Bishop of Bologna and Governor of Marche issued an order that, if in any monastery both sexes are received so that one can also suspect sacrilegious relations, those guilty of it will be punished with 4 lashings of a cord and a fine of 10 gold ducats. Nothing came of this order because, as soon as the plague was over, S. Maria delle Donne renewed its licentious life. But in early 1489, the infuriated citizens chased out the nuns and confiscated their goods. Fourteen nuns and the abbess returned on April 24, 1489, and forgave the community.

Admin. Notes

Ran into same problem with de Santi as there was in S Maria Annunziata - for explanation look there.

Suzanne Wemple-Kinder
Date Started