Saturday, September 21, 2013

St. Clare of Assisi

Clare was born into a rich Italian family in 1194, but when she heard St. Francis of Assisi preach, she decided to live a life of poverty. She ran away from home on Palm Sunday 1212. Francis took her in, cut her hair, and gave her a rough, brown habit to wear. She was first placed with Benedictine nuns, but Francis moved her to another monastery so she could have more solitude and follow stricter rules. A number of women joined her, determined to be humble, poor brides of Christ. 

From this group, she founded the Order of Saint Clare, called the Poor Clares. They owned nothing, even communally, and had to rely on friars for what they needed. They kept silent and didn’t eat meat. Their days consisted of isolation, prayer, and manual labor. The Pope tried to get the Poor Clares to have a set of rules similar to the Benedictines and own communal property, but the women insisted on their stricter lifestyle.

Legend says that one day she was too ill to go to Mass, but she was miraculously able to see and hear it on the wall of her room. Thus, in 1958, she became the patron of television. She died in 1253. Her feast day is August 11.

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