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St. Clare

Nativity of Mary Marian Prayers St. Monica St. Bernadette St. Francis St. Clare St. Dominic St. Agnes St. Sebastian Angels


Shining in name, more shining in life.

St. Clare

St. Clare of Assisi

b 1194  d 1253

Feast Days: August 11,
September 23, and October 3

Patroness of sore eyes

St. Clare was the first Franciscan sister.  She was a beautiful Italian girl, born of a wealthy family in Assisi, Italy.  She heard a sermon by St. Francis, and was so moved by it, she vowed a life of poverty.  She ran away from home to St. Francis.  He cut off her hair and gave her a rough brown habit to wear, tied with a plain cord around her waist, and placed her in a local convent.  Her parents tried in every way to make her return home, but Clare would not.  Her 2 sisters joined her, one of whom was St. Agnes, her best friend Pacifica, and many other young women.  The sisters of her order came to be known informally as Minoresses, and when the order was formed, Francis suggested Clare for the Superior. They devoted themselves to prayer, nursing the sick, and works of mercy for the poor and neglected. The order of nuns came to be called the "Poor Clares."

St. Clare and her sisters wore no shoes, ate no meat, lived in a poor house, and kept silent most of the time. They had no beds. They slept on twigs with patched hemp for blankets.  Whatever they ate was food they begged for. Clare made sure she fasted more than anyone else. Despite this way of life, or perhaps because of it, the followers of Clare were the most beautiful young girls from the best families of Assisi.

The community of Poor Clares continues to this day, both in the Roman and in the Angelican communions.

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"They say that we are too poor, but can a heart which possesses the infinite God be truly called poor?"  

-St. Clare of Assisi