St. Clare of Assisi
St. Clare of Assisi (July 16, 1194 – August 11, 1253) born into a noble family of Assisi, died a poor sister to all.
Clare grew up in a family where nothing was wanting. Though her father rarely present, she developed a close relationship with her mother. From her mother Clare learned the value of her faith and accompanied her mother on walks to distribute food to the poor.
Clare’s family home was located near the church of San Rufino. From her window Clare would have heard Francis as he preached in the church piazza.
Clare found inspiration in Francis’ words and the life that he led. Clare pondered all this and her time of reflection would lead her to desire to become a follower of Christ as Francis was.
Clare wished to join the friars in ministering to the poor and needy, but in her day, religious women were to remain in cloister. Clare and her sisters became so well known for their kindness that people and religious leaders from far and wide came for healing and advice.
Clare desired to witness the loving care of God in her life. She knew that she was absolutely dependent on God for everything. Clare wanted her sisters to be mindful of this reality and did not want them to be distracted by maintaining unnecessary possessions. Poverty became Clare’s most prized possession.
Clare was joined by other women including her sisters and mother, eager to live a life devoted to God. All were accepted and cared for, no matter her family background. Clare modeled right relationships in the way she called the sisters together in collegial decision making. She wanted to listen to the wisdom of each sister. Clare was the first woman to write and have approved a way of life. She wrote a way of life that honored the graces available in the ordinary actions of everyday life.