“St. Clare of Assisi” by Joan Y. Edwards
St. Clare’s feast day is April 11. She was born July 16, 1194 and died on August 11, 1253.
St. Clare’s father wanted her to get married at the age of 15. She asked to wait until she was 18. When she was 18, she heard and became intrigued with St. Francis of Assisi and his manner of giving up much for God. St. Francis cut her hair and gave her a robe for her habit. She got her sister, St. Agnes, to join her. They called themselves Poor Sisters.
After her death, Pope changed the named the order of nuns after her…the St. Clares. Her order of nuns did not move around the countryside. They lived in place together spending time doing manual labor and praying. They lived without money. Like St. Francis, Clare believed it was joyous to live in poverty in imitation of Christ.
There are two stories that are interesting to me about St. Clare.
She was quite ill. When rough soldiers of Frederick II were coming to raid her convent, she had the blessed sacrament placed at the gates where they could see it. She knelt there inside the walls and asked God to protect the sisters in her care. The soldiers became very frightened and left quickly without harming St. Clare and her companions.
Pope Pius XII designated her as the patron saint of television in 1958 because when Clare was too sick to attend Mass, it was said that she was able to see and hear it on the wall of her room. Isn’t it interesting that Mother Angelica, who is a Poor Clare Nun, founded the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN)?