Co-founder of the Poor Clares (1193-1253)
+ Clare was born into a noble family in Assisi, Italy. She was influenced by the preaching and witness of St. Francis of Assisi and resolved to follow him in his life of poverty.
+ In time, Clare became the foundering member and spiritual mother for a new community of nuns: the Poor Ladies of Assisi. Now more commonly known as the “Poor Clares,” the community grew quickly and Clare opened convents in Germany and Bohemia.
+ For the last twenty years of her life, this holy woman suffered from various illnesses and was often bedridden. In spite of her infirmities, she demanded that her community and the community of “Lesser Brothers” remain faithful to the vocation of Saint Francis.
+ Saint Clare died in 1253 and was canonized two years after her death.
Since 1958, Saint Clare has the distinction of being honored as the patron of television. Pope Pius XII granted her this title because of a legend which recalls that one Christmas Eve, when she lay sick in bed, Clare had a vision of the crib and heard her sisters’ singing, just as if she had been present in church.
“We become what we love and what we love shapes what we become.”—Saint Clare of Assisi
O God, who in your mercy led Saint Clare to a love of poverty,
grant, through her intercession,
that, following Christ in poverty of spirit,
we may merit to contemplate you
one day in the heavenly Kingdom.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.