St. Clare of Assisi
St. Clare of Assisi
Saint Clare of Assisi (July 16, 1194 – August 11, 1253), born Chiara Offreduccio, is an Italian saint and one of the first followers of Saint Francis of Assisi. She founded the Order of Poor Ladies, a monastic religious order for women in the Franciscan tradition, and wrote their Rule of Life—the first monastic rule known to have been written by a woman.
10 Facts about St. Clare of Assisi
1. St. Clare and her sisters wore no shoes, ate no meat, lived in a poor house, and kept silent most of the time.
2. An army of rough soldiers came to attack Assisi and they planned to raid the convent first. St. Clare was very sick, however she had herself carried to the wall and right there, where the enemies could see it, she had the Blessed Sacrament placed. Then on her knees, she begged God to save the Sisters.
3. St. Clare was the foundress of the “Poor Clares”, an order of nuns modeled after the Franciscan religious order.
4. After listening to St. Francis of Assisi preach, she was moved to imitate him and serve Jesus. St. Francis himself cut her hair short and gave her a rough brown robe to wear.
5. St. Francis placed Clare in the convent of the Benedictine nuns near Bastia from where her father made several unsuccessful attempts to abduct her, still wanting her to get married.
6. Unlike the Franciscan friars, whose members moved around the country to preach, Saint Clare’s sisters lived in enclosure, since an itinerant life was hardly conceivable at the time for women. Their life consisted of manual labor and prayer.
7. St. Clare sought to imitate Francis’ virtues and way of life so much so that she was sometimes titled alter Franciscus, another Francis.
8. St. Clare played a significant role in encouraging and aiding St. Francis, whom she saw as a spiritual father figure, and she took care of him during his illnesses at the end of his life, until his death in 1226.
9. On August 15, 1255, Pope Alexander IV canonized Clare as Saint Clare of Assisi.
10. Pope Pius XII designated her as the patron saint of television in 1958, on the basis that when she was too ill to attend Mass, she had reportedly been able to see and hear it on the wall of her room. The American Catholic television channel Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) was founded by a Poor Clare nun, Mother Angelica.
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