Saint of the Day: Clare of Assisi
Italian, b. circa 1193, d. 1253
Clare chose a life dedicated to God rather than the vocation of marriage, for which, as a beautiful woman from a wealthy family, it may have seemed she was destined. Inspired by the preaching of Francis of Assisi, she left home at 18. Clare dedicated herself to prayer, choosing poverty, seclusion from the world, and austerities such as abstaining from meat, and walking barefoot. The Pope approved the rule of life for the Poor Clares the day before Clare died.
patron of clairvoyance, eye diseases, needle workers, goldsmiths, television, good weather
You know, I am sure, that the kingdom of heaven is promised and given by the Lord only to the poor: (cf. Mt 5:3) for he who loves temporal things loses the fruits of love. Such a person cannot serve God and Mammon, for either the one is loved and the other hated, or the one is served and the other despised. (Mt 6:24)
You also know that one who is clothed cannot fight with another who is naked, because he is more quickly thrown who gives his adversary a chance to get hold of him; and that one who lives in the glory of earth cannot rule with Christ in heaven.
Again, you know that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven (Mt 19:24) Therefore you have cast aside your garments, that is, earthly riches, so that you might not be overcome by the one fighting against you, and that you might enter the kingdom of heaven through the straight path and the narrow gate. (Mt 7:13-14)
What a great laudable exchange: to leave the things of time for those of eternity, to choose the things of heaven for the goods of earth, to receive the hundred-fold in place of one, and to possess a blessed and eternal life.
— First letter of Saint Clare to Saint Agnes of Prague
- Read bio at americancatholic.org
- Read bio at EWTN
- Read PJPII’s message to the Poor Clares on the 750th anniversary of the death of St Clare
- Read Clare’s letters
- Watch / listen Father Mark Mary’s homily about Saint Clare (2015)
- Meet a Poor Clare
Look upon Him who became contemptible for you, and follow Him, making yourself contemptible in the world for him. Your Spouse, though more beautiful than the children of men (Ps 44:3), became, for your salvation, the lowest of men, despised, struck, scourged untold times throughout His whole body, and then died amid the sufferings of the cross. O most noble Queen, gaze upon Him, consider Him, contemplate Him, as you desire to imitate Him.
If you suffer with Him, you shall reign with Him, if you weep with Him, you shall rejoice with Him; if you die with Him on the cross of tribulation, you shall possess heavenly mansions in the splendour of the saints and, in the Book of Life, your name shall be called glorious among humankind.
Because of this you shall share always and forever the glory of the kingdom of heaven in place of earthly and passing things, and everlasting treasures instead of those that perish, and you shall live forever.
— Second letter of Saint Clare to Saint Agnes of Prague