How did female religious communities come into being?


A question similar to this was asked in the Vocations Forum but no real answer came up…and I am wondering if someone in Apologetics may be able to tell me how did the first female religious communities come into being? This probably all came about in the very early years of Christianity and probably, I tend to think, following the example of the earliest monks who formed religious communities, flowing I think from and around some of the early hermit desert fathers. If someone can fill in with some facts for me re females, links appreciated, I would be very grateful and will convey the answer to the thread in the Vocations Forum which seems to have gone stale. If I am in the wrong Forum, redirection would be appreciated - but not Vocations Forum for reasons already stated…Blessings this Lent…Barb


This may help:
God bless.


Read the life stories of St. Francis and St. Clare it will give an example for the 1200’s of the founding of a female
Religious Order.


Thank you both very much! I did not expect an answer so quickly…The New Advent entry is great and I will be posting it into the Vocations Thread. I must have looked for an hour on the internet and could find nothing…which says more about my appalling internet research skills than anything else.

I have read the life stories of both St. Francis and St. Clare and have pretty rough idea what female monastic life was like, roughly speaking, through the 1200s to modern day and how some Orders came into existence including the Poor Clares and their foundress, St. Clare. St. Clare and St. Francis are great pals of mine as it were. I will post your suggestion into the Vocations Forum to read the life stories of Sts. Francis and Clare too.

Thanks heaps again:tiphat: …Lenten Blessings…Barb


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit