Friday, August 11, 2006

Saint Clare of Assisi, pray for us!

IPB Image

Memorial: 11 August

Clare was a beautiful Italian noblewoman who became the Foundress of the order of Poor Ladies, now called "Poor Clares." and first Abbess of San Damiano; born at Assisi, July 16, 1194; died there August 11, 1253. She was the eldest daughter of Favorino Scifi, Count of Sasso-Rosso, the wealthy representative of an ancient Roman family, who owned a large palace in Assisi and a castle on the slope of Mount Subasio. As a little girl she was known by members of her household to be a sensitive child, gentle, prayerful and kind. She would sometimes hide food from her plate so as to later give it to the poor. At the age of 15, arrangements were made for Clare to marry, but she refused.

In 1211, after hearing Francis preach the Lenten Sermon in San Rufino, Clare began to meet with Francis to discuss her vocation. On March 28, 1211 she left her father's house to receive her habit from Francis in the Porziuncola. She became a follower of Saint Francis of Assisi, and with her sister, St. Agnes, she founded the Poor Ladies of San Damiano. Her mother and another sister joined them in the religious community later. Many miracles took place among St. Clare and her sisters. Saint Clare lived a rigorously devoted life of prayer, penance, and service. She continually cared for her sisters, particularly the weak, and all those in need.

It was during the night of the Palm Sunday, on March 18th 1212, that took place the experience that determined a radical change in her life; in fact, during that night, the girl joined in secret St. Francesco at the "Porziuncola". There, in the little chapel of ‘Mary of the Angels’, she laid aside her rich clothes and Francis, after cutting off her long blonde hair, clothed her in a rough tunic and a thick veil. Acting entirely unconventionally and without Canonical authority, Francis accepted Clare's bill of divorce from the world and lodged her nearby in a Benedictine Nunnery. From that moment she vowed to live her life entirely in the service of Jesus, her heavenly spouse.

Clare Saint died on August 11th, 1253 of natural causes. On August 15, 1255, Pope Alexander IV canonized Clare as Saint Clare of Assisi. On February 17, 1958, Pope Pius XII designated her as the patron saint of television. The tomb of Saint Clare of Assisi was found in 1850. On 23 September in that year the coffin was unearthed and opened, the flesh and clothing of the saint had been reduced to dust, but the skeleton was in a perfect state of preservation. Finally, on the 29th of September, 1872, the saint's bones were transferred, with much pomp, by Archbishop Pecci, afterwards Leo XIII, to the shrine, in the crypt at Santa Chiara, erected to receive them, and where they may now be seen. In 1263, Pope Urban IV officially changed the name of the Order of Poor Ladies to the "Order of Saint Clare". The name Clare means "shining" or "clear".

Patron of: sore eyes, television

Novena to Saint Clare
Dear Saint Clare, as a young girl you imitated your mother's love for the poor of your native Assisi. Inspired by the preaching of Saint Francis, who sang enthusiastically of his Lord and Lady Poverty, you gave your life to Jesus at nineteen years of age, allowing Saint Francis to cut off your beautiful hair and invest you with the Franciscan habit.

All through your life you offered your great suffering for you sisters, the Poor Clares, and the conversion of souls. You greatly aided Saint Francis with his new order, carrying on his spirit in the Franciscans after his death. Most of all you had a deep love of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament, which fueled your vocation to love and care for the poor.

Please pray for me (mention your intention) that I will seek to keep Jesus as my first love, as you did. Help me to grow in love of the Blessed Sacrament, to care for the poor, and to offer my whole life to God.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of Saint Clare. Through her intercession, please hear and answer my prayer, in the name of Jesus Your Son. Amen.

--please pray for me and my vocation, especially on this beautiful day--


Blogger Jennifer said...

Thank you for posting this lovely Novena on this special day.
I will pray for you.
God Bless

8/11/2006 05:08:00 PM  

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