Tag Archives: St. Clare

St. Clare – A Family Affair

St. Agnes of Assisi
St. Agnes of Assisi

I can’t remember where I read this but a bishop once asked a priest (I think Father Hardon, SJ) about vocation programs and asked, “What is the best way to attract priestly vocations?” The answer, “Become a saint, Your Excellency.”

Holiness is attractive and it reminds me of our saint for today, St. Clare of Assisi. The foundress of the Poor Clares, the 2nd Franciscans Order, Clare placed her life into the hands of St. Francis of Assisi in 1212 at the age of about seventeen. Sixteen days later, her younger sister Agnes secretly left the family home to join her sister. Emissaries, sent by their angry Father, dragged Agnes by her hair out of the monastery.They abandoned her in a field because she was so unexpectedly heavy, something viewed as Divine intervention. Their mother, Blessed Hortulana, and younger sister Beatrice, later joined them and their cousin Ruffino was an early companion of St. Francis.  Holiness attracts.

So on this feast day of St. Clare, as we pray for our relatives who may seem far from the faith, let us invoke St. Clare and St. Agnes and ask for their assistance in helping us to become saints, so we can inspire our nearest and dearest to draw closer to the Lord themselves.

O dearest, look on heaven that invites us, and bear the Cross and follow Christ who preceded us; indeed, after various and many tribulations we shall enter through Him into His glory.  Love with your whole heart God and Jesus, His son, crucified for our sins, and never let His memory escape your mind;  make yourself mediate continually on the mysteries of the Cross and the anguish of the mother standing beneath the Cross.

—St. Agnes of Assisi


Saint Clare Novena

The year 2012 marks the 800th anniversary of Saint Clare’s religious consecration and the founding of the Poor Clares. The Poor Clares of Belleville, Illinois, invite everyone to join them in their solemn novena in honor of Saint Clare, August 2 through August 10. Her feast day is Sunday, August 11th.

Pope John Paul II said that there was no concern, suffering, anguish or discouragement of others that  did not find an echo in the heart of this prayerful woman.

She is the:

  • Patroness of Television (declared so in 1958). When she was too sick to attend Mass, she was able to see it on a wall in her room. The origin of the word television comes from tele (far) and vision (sight). Mother Angelica, who founded EWTN,  is a Poor Clare nun.
  • Patroness of Seamstresses – preserved at the basilica of St. Clare in Assisi is a linen and lace alb she made for St. Francis
  • Intercessor for those with eye trouble – one of the first miracles after her death was the restoration of the sight of a blind man
  • Patroness of Good Weather – the traditional offering for a CLARE-sky day is one dozen eggs to the nearest Poor Clare Monastery
  • Helper in Childbirth – Her mother prayed before a crucifix shortly before the birth of St. Clare. The Lord said, Fear not, for you will bring forth a light that will greatly illumine the world.
  • Friend of Children in Need – People brought their children to the monastery confident that Saint Clare’s prayers would help them

The theme for this year’s novena is: Clare: Close to Us