Chiara Offreduccio (July 16, 1194 – August 11, 1253)
When you have loved Jesus, You are chaste;
when you have touched [Him], You become more pure;
When you have accepted [Him], You are a virgin.
Whose power is stronger,
Whose generosity more abundant,
Whose appearance more beautiful,
Whose love more tender,
Whose courtesy more gracious.
In Whose embrace You are already caught up;
Who has adorned Your breast with precious stones
and has placed priceless pearls on Your ears
and has surrounded You with sparkling gems
as though blossoms of springtime
and placed on Your head a golden crown
as a sign of Your holiness…
Be strengthened in the holy service which you have undertaken out of a burning desire for the poor crucified, who for the sake of all of us took upon himself the passion of the cross (Heb 12:2), delivered us from the power of the Prince of Darkness (Col 1:13) to whom we were enslaved because of the disobedience of our first parent, and so reconciled us to God the Father.
— Saint Clare (Via)
Though I am a Benedictine, these days, when I was 20, I was thisclose to becoming one of Clare’s daughters, via Sauk Rapids.
In retrospect, I believe I’d have been awful at it, but in any case, God had other plans, and where would I be, now, without my gem of a husband and my sons, who have all taught me so much, and without whom I could not live?Still, I remain in some ways, very much a daughter of Clare. I don’t think St. Benedict minds it, much.
The beautiful hair of St. Clare, cut off by St. Francis, as she embraced the coarse habit of poverty