Today is the feast day of St. Clare, the abbess who faced down the invading Saracens with a fearsome weapon: the Holy Eucharist.
While the marauders were scaling the convent walls, Clare, ill as she was, had herself carried out to the gate and there the Sacrament was set up in sight of the enemy. Prostrating herself before it, she prayed aloud: “Does it please Thee, O God, to deliver into the hands of these beasts the defenseless children whom I have nourished with Thy love? I beseech Thee, good Lord, protect these whom now I am not able to protect.” Whereupon she heard a voice like the voice of a little child saying, “I will have them always in My care.” She prayed again, for the city, and again the voice came, reassuring her. She then turned to the trembling nuns and said, “Have no fear, little daughters; trust in Jesus.” At this, a sudden terror seized their assailants and they fled.
The details are, of course, different: today’s Muslim jihadists aren’t mercenaries vying for control of the Papal States. But to the Christians trembling inside the walls, the enemy is the enemy, and the picture is just as bleak. St. Clare, pray for your defenseless children now.
PIC St. Clare stained glass