August 11 is the feast day of St. Clare of Assisi (1194-1253). Clare was born into a noble Italian family and was betrothed at a young age to a wealthy, young man. At the age of 18, she heard Francis of Assisi preaching, and soon after, on the night of Palm Sunday, she ran away from home. Francis helped her cut off her hair, gave her a simple black tunic, and placed her in a convent. Soon, Clare’s younger sister Agnes joined her, and they, along with the other nuns, became known as the “Poor Ladies.” Clare quickly became the leader of the convent and, not long after her death, the order was renamed the “Order of Saint Clare.” Though they lived a strict and impoverished lifestyle, they were happy because the Lord was with them, as proved by Clare when they were in great danger. An army of soldiers came to attack Assisi, planning to raid the convent first. Though she was very sick, St. Clare had herself brought to the wall and, in a place where the enemies could see, she had the Blessed Sacrament placed. Then, she prayed, “O Lord, protect these Sisters whom I cannot protect now.” A voice answered, “I will keep them always in My care.” Then, a sudden fright struck the soldiers and they immediately fled, leaving the convent and city safe. Pope Pius XII designated St. Clare as the patron saint of television since, it is reported, when she was too ill to attend Mass, she could see and hear it on the wall of her room. She is also the patron of eye disease, needleworkers, good weather, laundry, and more.
Questions for Reflection:
- How do you deal with dangerous situations?
- How can you keep your faith strong?