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 founding 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.
For prayer and reflection
“Totally love Him who gave Himself totally out of love for you.”—Saint Clare of Assisi
On August 11, we also remember the Roman martyr Saint Susanna. According to legend, she was a young Roman noblewoman, daughter of Saint Gabinus of Rome and a niece of Pope Saint Caius. Although a relative of the Emperor Diocletian desire her hand in marriage, she refused his advances and was ultimately killed for her faith in Christ near the end of the third century. A Church was built in her honor in Rome in the sixth century.
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.