Dear St. Clare and her Daughters

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

Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration:
Pheonix: Stained glass window installation
Charlotte: Fundraising for a monastery
Hanceville: Solemn profession on this feast day!

Other Poor Clare Communities:
Santa Barbara

Deacon Greg: Why is St. Clare the Patroness of Television?
A great recap of Clare’s life here

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • jkm

    After decades away, I received the grace to return to the Church when I visited San Damiano, where the peaceful light that is Clare still burns fiercely after more than 7 centuries. When Francis was deep in despair, he returned to that place of light and peace, and out of it came his glorious Canticle of the Creatures. May Clare’s light and peace radiate in a special way through our Church today, so much in need of it!

  • jkm

    And Elizabeth, it was of course the generosity of the Benedictines that provided Francis and Clare with their first foundations, at a rental of a basket of fish a year, so I am also sure St Benedict would not mind sharing your spiritual parenthood with Clare!

  • NBW

    Elizabeth, thank you for the post on St. Clare! It’s so neat to see her relics.

  • Max Lindenman

    Let it stand as a testimony to the power of Franciscan spirituality that it tempts people like you and me to dedicate our lives to it. (I thought about becoming a friar). Much peace and good to you this Clare Day.

  • friscoeddie

    There is a German fort on top of Assisi and when I saw that blond hair above Clare’s tomb .. AHH.. most likely German DNA

  • Rose

    Such a beautiful meditation. Thank you! :)