August 6, 2012: Saint Clare of Assisi

~ by Mary Galvano

If there is one thing I feel blessed with is the fact that I share my birthday, August 11th, with the feast day of St. Clare of Assisi. On this day I was born into this world but, she was born into everlasting life in the year 1253.

Although, St. Clare was poor by choice she was born to the wealthy family of the Count of Sasso-Rosso in Assisi, Italy. Clare was always devoted to prayer as a child. When she turned 15 her parents wanted her to marry a wealthy, young man even though she originally wanted to wait until she was 18.

When she was 18, she heard the preaching of St. Francis of Assisi. These preachings began to change her life. He told her she was a chosen soul from God. On Palm Sunday, when people went to grab their blessed palm branches she stayed home. On that very night she ran away to go follow Francis. When she got there he cut her hair and dressed her in a black tunic and a thick black veil. Clare was placed with the Benedictine nuns near Bastia.

Clare and her sister Agnes soon moved to the church of San Damiano which Francis himself had rebuilt. Other women joined wishing to be brides of Jesus joined them there and San Damiano became known for its radically austere lifestyle. The women were at first known as the “Poor Ladies”. Following her death, the order she founded was renamed in her honor as the Order of Saint Clare, commonly referred to today as 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. Yet they were very happy because Our Lord was close to them all the time. Once, He saved them from a great danger in answer to St. Clare’s prayer. An army of rough soldiers came to attack Assisi and they planned to raid the convent first. Although very sick, St. Clare had herself carried to the wall and right there, where the enemies could see it, she had the Blessed Sacrament placed. Then on her knees, she begged God to save the Sisters.

“O Lord, protect these Sisters whom I cannot protect now,” she prayed. A voice seemed to answer: “I will keep them always in My care.”

At the same time a sudden fright struck the attackers and they fled as fast as they could.

St. Clare was sick and suffered great pains for many years, but she said that no pain could trouble her. So great was her joy in serving the Lord that she once exclaimed: “They say that we are too poor, but can a heart which possesses the infinite God be truly called poor?”

We should remember this miracle of the Blessed Sacrament when in Church. Then we will pray with great Faith to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist: “Save me, O Lord, from every evil – of soul and body.”

St. Clare is the patron saint of sore eyes and television. In fact it was a Poor Clare that founded the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), a famous nun by the name of Mother Angelica.

St. Clare of Assisi’s life in no way was or is poor. She shines in heaven with all the other saints waiting to help us through the power of Jesus.

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Mary Galvano-Bajohr is a singer/songwriter, LPGA golf instructor, speaker and author. On the golf course she is a dedicated professional, but go to a Yankee game, a Pro-life event or other venue and you just might see her step up to the microphone and sing the National Anthem or the Ave Maria.

Visit Mary’s website at www.marygalvano.com.

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