Memorial of St Clare of Assisi

St Clare was born in 1194 in Assisi, Italy. She was inspired and moved at the age of 15 by the dynamic preaching of St Francis of Assisi and refused to get married. She ran away from home when she was 18 years of age and met some friars carrying torches on the road. At the little church of   Portiuncula, she received a rough woolen habit and St Francis cut her hair. St Francis then sent her to the Benedictine convent at Bastia as he had no female convent and sixteen days later her sister Agnes joined her and then others came.

St Francis and his friars helped establish her group of nuns at San Damiano and the sisters lived a contemplative live, a life of complete seclusion from the world, austerity and poverty and went about on barefoot and almost complete silence. However, St Francis did eventually manage to encourage St Clare to moderate their rigorous way of life. When the convent was faced attack from the Saracens, she placed the Blessed Sacrament on the walls of the convent and they fled. This was a prime example of her trust in God.

Her rule of life for her sisters, the Poor Clares, was approved just two days before her death by Pope Innocent IV . She died at San Damiano in 1253. St Clare was canonised by Pope Alexander IV on the 26th of September 1255.


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