Saint Clare of Assisi, born in 1193 (or 1194) in Assisi (in Umbria), is an extraordinary figure of Christian spirituality. Her life was characterized by a deep faith, an ardent love for God and a radical commitment to evangelical poverty.
Born into a noble family, Chiara felt from a young age the fascination of the spiritual experience that Saint Francis and his first companions were living in Assisi in those years. At the age of 18, she fled from her father’s house, abandoned everything and joined Francis at the little church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, where she devoted herself to God. The image of St. Clare running towards her new vocation is similar to that of Mary running to her cousin Elizabeth to share the news of the great gift received from God as soon as possible! Her timely response to God’s love and her readiness to serve others are a call to all of us to live a life of authentic and generous faith.
Soon other women joined her, and thus the second Franciscan order, the Poor Clares, was born, based on poverty, humility and the contemplative life. Their dedication to a life of prayer and service to God inspired many other women to follow their example.
Clare’s spirituality was characterized by a deep love for Christ and a special devotion to the Eucharist. Her presence in the church of San Damiano, near Assisi, where she withdrew with her companions, was filled with a profound sense of communion with God and a passion for contemplation.
Saint Clare embodied the essence of evangelical humility and poverty. She renounced material goods and embraced simplicity, devoting herself totally to Christ. Her austere life and her dedication to prayer were a living example of the love of God which is revealed through renouncing material goods and sharing with the poorest.
to St. Claire
daughter, sister and mother,
you who lived your life
in trust with the Father,
help us so that we can truly live
our being sons and daughters of God.
Attracted by the way Francis
choose to live,
you wished to know
and grasp his secret,
provide us with companions
that helps us to look up towards high.
You who have left wealth and comfort
to follow a “crazy” intuition,
put a dream in our hearts
that gives flavor to our existence.
Living with your sisters,
you knew that happiness is true and full
only when it is shared,
help us enjoy eternal life
that already shines through our relationships.
Saint Claire of Assisi, pray for us.
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