SAINT OF THE DAY: 11 AUGUST, 2014

Saint Clare of Assisi

Saint Clare of Assisi

Foundress and Abbess
(1194-1253)

On Palm Sunday, March 19, 1212, a maiden eighteen years of age left her rich and noble family to retire for her reception as a religious to the little church of the Portiuncula.

This maiden was Saint Clare. Already she had learned from Saint Francis to scorn the world, and was secretly resolved to live for God alone.

There she was met by Saint Francis and his brethren, and at the altar of Our Lady, Saint Francis cut off her hair, clothed her in the habit of penance, a piece of sackcloth, with a cord as a cincture.

Thus was she espoused to Christ. Saint Francis placed her for the moment in a Benedictine convent.

It was in a tiny house outside Assisi that she founded her Order. Two weeks after Clare’s consecration, her sister Agnes left home secretly to go to join her, at the age of fourteen years. Agnes succeeded in her intention, despite their father’s strong opposition and a convoy of twelve men who attempted to take her back home by force.

While Clare prayed in the convent, Agnes became so heavy they were unable to move her. Later their mother and other noble ladies joined them.

They went barefoot, observed perpetual abstinence, constant silence, and perfect poverty.

Saint Clare is celebrated for a miracle which occurred when the Saracen army of Frederick II was ravaging the valley of Spoleto. A legion of infidels advanced to assault the convent outside Assisi.

The Saint, who was ill in the infirmary, rose and went, supported by her religious, to the door of the convent; there she had the Blessed Sacrament placed in a monstrance above the gate of the monastery facing the enemy.

She knelt before it and prayed, Deliver not to beasts, O Lord, the souls of those who confess Your Name! A voice from the Host replied, My protection will never fail you.

A sudden panic seized the infidel army, which took flight; and the Saint’s convent was spared.

Although Saint Clare herself never left her monastery of Saint Damian, her Order spread in many places not only in Europe but elsewhere, and some four thousand convents, divided into several branches, shelter her disciples.

Many Saints have come from these, especially from the groups which have maintained the original absolute poverty of her Constitutions.

The Sisters of the original Order live by charity, and their convents possess nothing.

Saint Clare died in 1253, as the Passion was being read, and Our Lady and the Angels conducted her to glory.

(SOURCE: Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 9;Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).)

READING OF THE DAY: 11 AUGUST, 2014

jesus_teachinga

“As Jesus and his disciples were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men,and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.”

And they were overwhelmed with grief. 

When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the temple tax approached Peter and said, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”

Yes, he said.

When he came into the house, before he had time to speak, Jesus asked him, “What is your opinion, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take tolls or census tax? From their subjects or from foreigners?”

When he said, “From foreigners,”

Jesus said to him, “Then the subjects are exempt.

But that we may not offend them, go to the sea, drop in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up.

Open its mouth and you will find a coin worth twice the temple tax.

Give that to them for me and for you.” -Matthew 17:22-27.