St. Claire of Assisi (August 11)

Today is the feast of St. Claire. Known as Sta. Chiara in Italy where her incorrupt body is found.  She is more familiar locally as Sta. Clara, patron saint of childless couples.  During the town fiesta of Obando (Bulacan) each May, couples dance, praying for a child through  the intercession of Sta. Clara.

I was lucky enough to see the incorrupt body of St. Claire in Assisi a long time ago during the early days of our pilgrimage tours.  I think it was the second time we visited Assisi.  Because of that, I decided to wander around and a couple of our companions followed me.  We went further uphill and found another Basilica and when I asked around, I was told it was the Basilica of Sta. Chiara where her body can be found.  I am not sure where the photos I took are kept but found a video and photo online which I posted below.

Just a short background about St. Clare from Catholic Online:

Clare was a beautiful Italian noblewoman who became the Foundress of an order of nuns now called “Poor Clares.” When she heard St. Francis of Assisi preach, her heart burned with a great desire to imitate Francis and to live a poor humble life for Jesus. So one evening, she ran away from home, and in a little chapel outside Assisi, gave herself to God.

St. Francis cut off her hair and gave her a rough brown habit to wear, tied with a plain cord around her waist. Her parents tried in every way to make her return home, but Clare would not.

Soon her sister, St. Agnes joined her, as well as other young women who wanted to be brides of Jesus, and live without any money. St. Clare and her sisters wore no shoes, ate no meat, lived in a poor house, and kept
silent most of the time. Yet they were very happy, because Our Lord was close to them all the time. Once, He saved them from a great danger in answer to St. Clare’s prayer. An army of rough soldiers came to attack
Assisi and they planned to raid the convent first. Although very sick,

St. Clare 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.

“O Lord, protect these Sisters whom I cannot protect now,” she prayed.

A voice seemed to answer: “I will keep them always in My care.” At the same time a sudden fright struck the attackers and they fled as fast as they could. St. Clare was sick and suffered great pains for many years, but she said that no pain could trouble her. So great was her joy in serving the Lord that she once exclaimed: “They say that we are too poor, but can a heart which possesses the infinite God be truly called poor?” We should remember this miracle of the Blessed Sacrament when in Church. Then we will pray with great Faith to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist: “Save me, O Lord, from every evil – of soul and body.”

If you will recall, several decades ago, the movie Brother Sun and Sister Moon  by Franco Zeffirelli was produced.  It is about the life of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Clare.  Below is a portion of the film with the famous song by Donovan.

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