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Thursday, August 10, 2006

St. Clare of Assisi

Friday is the Memorial of St. Clare and this month marks the 750th anniversary of her death. . Here's what the saint of the day post at American Catholic has to say about Clare ...

One of the more sugary movies made about Francis of Assisi pictures Clare as a golden-haired beauty floating through sun-drenched fields, a sort of one-girl counterpart to the new Franciscan Order.

The beginning of her religious life was indeed movie material. Having refused to marry at 15, she was moved by the dynamic preaching of Francis. He became her lifelong friend and spiritual guide.

At 18, she escaped one night from her father’s home, was met on the road by friars carrying torches, and in the poor little chapel called the Portiuncula received a rough woolen habit, exchanged her jeweled belt for a common rope with knots in it, and sacrificed the long tresses to Francis’ scissors. He placed her in a Benedictine convent which her father and uncles immediately stormed in rage. She clung to the altar of the church, threw aside her veil to show her cropped hair and remained adamant.

End of movie material ...

The rest of the article goes on to describe the kind of life Clare led as abbess of a Second Order ...

The nuns went barefoot, slept on the ground, ate no meat and observed almost complete silence ... They possessed no property, even in common, subsisting on daily contributions ... The 41 years of Clare’s religious life are poor movie material, but they are a scenario of sanctity: an indomitable resolve to lead the simple, literal gospel life ...

And check out another, longer article on Clare at American Catholic - Celebrating St. Clare of Assisi, which tells about Clare's life, has some information about what it's like to be a Poor Clare today, and also links to some recommended books.

St Clare with the Scene of the Siege of Assisi - Giuseppi Cesari


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