Saint of the Day for 11 August: St Clare
A beacon of simplicity and dedication, the woman who illuminated the Middle Ages with the Love of Christ
16 July 1194
10 agosto 11 August 1253, Roma
1255, Anagni, Lazio, Pope Alexander IV
By that spirit of penance which induced you to make constantly your own particular delight the strictest fasting, the most rigorous poverty and the most painful mortifications and therefore the deprivation of all goods, the suffering of all evils in order to consecrate yourselves entirely to the love of Jesus Christ in the illustrious Order instituted by you, under the direction of your Seraphic Father St. Francis, whose spirit you clothed so well in embracing his habit and rule, impart to us your grace, O admirable St. Clare, to prefer ever abjection to glory, and to prefer for ever, O most admirable St. Clare, the abjection of all things to the glory of the Lord. Francis, whose spirit you clothed so well in embracing his habit and rule, impart to us the grace, O admirable St Clare, of always preferring abjectness to glory, poverty to riches, mortification to pleasures, in order to be not only in name but also in fact, faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. Pater, Ave, Gloria.
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Memory of St Clare, virgin, who, the first offshoot of the Poor Ladies of the Order of Minors, followed St Francis, leading a harsh life in Assisi, Umbria, but rich in works of charity and piety; a distinguished lover of poverty, she never allowed herself to be separated from it, not even in extreme poverty and infirmity.
The Saint and Mission
St Clare of Assisi is an iconic figure in the panorama of Christian spirituality, recognised for her intense dedication to the mission of following Christ in the purest and humblest way possible. Foundress of the Order of the Poor Clares, her life is a shining example of how love for God can translate into passionate service for others.
St Clare was born into a noble family in 1194, but renounced all her wealth to live according to the Gospel, inspired by St Francis of Assisi. Her decision to live in radical poverty, with the intention of following Christ’s example, underlines her unconditional commitment to the mission of living and propagating the Gospel message.
St Clare’s mission is not only personal, but communitarian. By creating the Order of Poor Clares, she gave birth to a community of women dedicated to living the Gospel in prayer, poverty and service. Through this community, St Clare amplified her mission, spreading her way of living the Gospel far beyond the confines of Assisi.
St Clare shows us that the Christian mission is not only an active work, but also a contemplative one. Her life of intense and constant prayer underlines the importance of communion with God as the foundation of all mission.
St Clare’s life is a shining testimony of how Christian mission can be lived with deep dedication and love, both through active service and contemplative prayer.
The Saint and Mercy
St Clare of Assisi, spiritual companion of St Francis, is a living example of Christian mercy. Her life, marked by a deep devotion to God and loving service to neighbour, embodies the essence of mercy: compassionate love for others, especially the most needy.
Born into a noble family in Assisi, St Clare voluntarily chose a life of radical poverty, inspired by the message and example of St Francis. Her renunciation of all material comforts was an act of mercy towards herself, a way to free her heart from worldly distractions and to focus totally on the love of God.
But St Clare’s mercy is not limited to an act of self-deprivation. By founding the Order of the Poor Clares, she created a community of women dedicated to prayer and service to the poor. This community enabled many other women to follow Clare’s example, spreading God’s mercy through prayer and action.
St Clare is also a symbol of mercy through her patience and perseverance in suffering. Afflicted by illness for most of her life, she accepted her sufferings with serenity and dedication, offering them as a sacrifice of love to God.
St Clare’s life shows us that Christian mercy is not only an outward act of charity, but also an inner attitude of love and compassion. Her life challenges us to live mercy in every aspect of our lives, from prayer to suffering, from service to the poor to the renunciation of material goods.
He was born in Osca in Spain in 226 of very noble and holy parents. So many were the gifts he received in the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist, that he seemed prevented by grace; while still a child he always abstained from all childish amusements and was a model of docility and holy innocence to all. Having received his first education at home, he went to Zaragoza to learn literature, and in this famous university his progress was so rapid and wonderful that he was considered the best of all students. At this time the Bishop of that city, seeing in him a…