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St Clare of Assisi feast, 11 August

Saint Clare of Assisi (1194 – 1253) is venerated as patroness of many things including television!

But Clare is perhaps best remembered as the closest follower and dearest friend of Saint Francis of Assisi. More than eight centuries ago, she founded the Poor Ladies of San Damiano, now known in English as the Poor Clares. Perhaps more than any other Franciscan, Clare most faithfully lived the gospel life of prayer, fellowship, simplicity and service.

Although Saint Clare lived all of her post-conversion life within the confines of a cloister, she was a person of great courage, faith and perseverance. When mercenary soldiers attempted to breach the walls of her convent, she confronted them with the Blessed Sacrament and they retreated. When a bishop asked her to compromise her principles and accept gifts of property and riches, Clare declined and said: “I must be absolved from my sins, but not from my obligation to follow the Poor Christ.” And when a pope refused to approve her strict rule of life, she declined to die until the rule was approved. Just two days after it was given papal authorization, she quietly and contentedly passed away.

This prayer was written by an anonymous Poor Clare, and speaks of this remarkable soul who cast aside the spirit of the world in order to live the adventure of the gospel…

Saint Clare, ardent lover of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament
help us to grow in love for Christ Jesus, our Redeemer.

With your strong faith and unwavering hope, gather our wounded Church, our suffering world, and all people into your loving heart
and lift us up to Jesus with your absolute confidence in his merciful love. Saint Clare, help us to be like you: peaceful, kind, gentle,

strong patient, and persevering in the face of all difficulties.
Trusting in your powerful intercession, we confidently praise and thank God, our Father, for all of the blessings we have received.
Glory, praise, wisdom, and thanksgiving, honour, power, and might to our God
for ever and ever.

(Edited from a publication of The Assisi Project, an association of people trying to follow Franciscan spirituality assisiproject.com)