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CatholicSaints.Info » Blog Archive » Saint Clare of Assisi, by Father Dominic Devas, O.F.M.

detail of a stained glass window of Saint Clare of Assisi; date unknown, artist unknown; church of Saint Stephen, South Kensington, London, England; photographed on 22 December 2014 by Oxfordian Kissuth; swiped from Wikimedia Commons

To go to Jerusalem, Rome and Assisi for the primary time, and all inside a month, is to lodge within the thoughts a reminiscence unlikely quickly to be misplaced. Jerusalem is lucky in its partitions, for the cramped metropolis, inside their slender compass, retains a lot of its historic methods and vintage buildings steeped nonetheless and richly with the emotion of bygone multitudes. Rome is Rome – immortal regardless of all of the ravages of “progress.” Previous and new jostle each other so intently that the environment of antiquity can solely be caught right here and there on this quarter or in that constructing. The prevailing observe is strident and trendy. How totally different is Assisi! Because the practice strikes down out of the hills after which pushes on discreetly up the broad Umbrian valley, it appears to know its place and intentionally to chorus from drawing in too intently to the gorgeous white metropolis set halfway on the japanese slopes. One feels that a thirteenth-century friar, whom the Jerusalem of right now would mystify and modem Rome completely bewilder, would know Assisi directly and be fairly at residence there. Comparatively talking, it has modified little throughout these intervening centuries; and even that mingled masterpiece of audacity and calm, the church and convent of San Francesco, although Francis didn’t realize it, was definitely recognized to Saint Clare, regardless that invisible from her house at Saint Damian’s. Certainly, Clare had a magnificence all her personal to stare upon if she would. Most cities, hurriedly visited, depart within the reminiscence some vivid core or middle, that the identify evokes directly and round which the opposite reminiscences collect tardily and with effort. For some, a minimum of, the so-called Backyard of Saint Clare within the convent of Saint Damian fulfills that workplace for Assisi. It’s fairly tiny, enclosed by lofty masonry on three sides, however the fourth, bordered by a low wall, seems to be straight down on to the gorgeous plain or vast valley of Umbria, with the define of the far hills rising mistily out of the blue distances and shutting the horizon in – an ideal view fairly past enough description in phrases. It’s a place of utter peace, so calm, so alien to the world’s tough noise and ceaseless questionings, so conscious of man’s personal inward witness to the invisible that one virtually waits for the previous door to open softly and to confess Clare herself to her backyard with a greeting for the customer. That is probably not, however at the very least one might attempt to recall for some time the reminiscence of a really noble determine within the Franciscan previous, and of 1 whose inspiration, after seven centuries, nonetheless glows within the heroic lives of many beneficiant souls.

Clare was born at Assisi in July 1194. Her father was referred to as Favarone; her mom’s identify was Ortulana. She had, it might seem, an elder brother referred to as Martin, and in time two youthful sisters, Agnes and Beatrice. There was additionally an uncle, Monaldo. Sixteenth and seventeenth century writers, with their insatiable itch for the Aristocracy in any respect prices, have diligently gotten Clare into one of the best society. They current her to us as one of many nice Sciffi household. Contemporaries knew nothing of this; they have been, the truth is, extra like ourselves, and have been content material once they discovered that true the Aristocracy of which sanctity is so positive a faculty, with out bothering to go searching for escutcheons. All we actually know for sure of Clare’s household – and it’s illuminating sufficient in view of her subsequent character – is that she got here from nice preventing inventory. “Pater ejus miles et tota utroque parente progenies militaris” (Her father was a soldier and her ancestry on each side, army). We all know additionally, from the identical supply, that the household, from the fabric perspective, was very nicely off. One may, then, hazard the suggestion that Clare’s household at Assisi was of a lot the identical native standing as that of Antony at Lisbon – of the city the Aristocracy or, as we should always say, of the higher class. How trifling all such inquiries appear when our enterprise is with a soul of such excellent “greatness” as that of Clare.

Sanctity ennobles souls and makes them really “generosi” (of excessive start) it doesn’t matter what their earthly origins.

Clare owed a lot to her mom, Ortulana, a lady of actual piety. In her youthful days, Ortulana had been on pilgrimage to the holy locations in Palestine, and to Saint Michael’s shrine within the south of Italy; and in her day – in marked distinction to our personal – to go on pilgrimage each required and was itself an proof of a religious sincerity of no widespread order. Simply earlier than Clare’s start, Ortulana was in church praying earlier than a crucifix for a protected supply when an inside voice reassured her. She was to set all worry apart, for her youngster can be safely bom and turn into an excellent mild on the earth. On the youngster’s baptism within the Cathedral of San Rufino – and on the similar font, nonetheless to be seen, whereby Francis was baptized – the infant acquired the identify of Clare. With a sigh for what’s so swiftly passing from amongst us, we learn how Clare discovered the “fidei rudimenta” (rudiments of religion) from her personal mom’s lips. No marvel these lessens held so firmly. No marvel comparable lessens are apt to take a seat so frivolously on so most of the trendy era once they study these similar rudiments of religion together with Latin grammar, historic historical past, and far else. Combining the mdiments of religion with all that different info typically causes all of it, in time, to go the best way of “faculty stuff,” carrying these rudiments of religion together with it.

As a toddler, Clare was unselfishness in giving alms, an early indication of her mastery within the penances she would impose upon herself. As a toddler, Clare additionally confirmed a willpower to be thorough with God when she counted her little prayers with unfastened pebbles to ensure she didn’t overlook one.

When Clare was about fifteen years of age, Francis got here again from Rome with verbal approval for his lifestyle from Pope Harmless III and commenced gathering followers round him at his new house – Saint Mary of the Angels, the Portiuncula. Assisi was now ashamed not of her wayward son. Amongst the earliest to be drawn in the direction of one who was already starting to steer souls with a contact as positive and direct as that which the world has seen extra recently within the Remedy d’Ars, was the younger woman Clare. We have now a wonderful instance right here of that exceptional perception into the character Francis possessed, and for which solely the tardiest recognition has been forthcoming. To deal with a soul like Clare’s with such unerring talent, such good assurance, and such full success was an incredible achievement; and is an occasion alike of the worth of sound course, when it might be had, and of the chief supply of its efficacy. For some three years, Clare, accompanied by her maid, regularly visited Francis when he was staying on the Portiuncula. There’s little problem in following their speak. It was all, as Celano places it, “vivo sermone,” (with speech alive and vivacious). Francis spoke to Clare of the world’s vacancy, of life with God, and of Jesus Christ, “Quern amor humanavit” (whom love made man).

The difficulty might hardly be doubted. On Palm Sunday, 18 March in 1212, Clare, wearing splendor past the peculiar, went with the crowds to the cathedral for the distribution of palms. When the time got here to obtain her palm, she felt she couldn’t rise with the remaining and transfer up in the direction of the sanctuary. Points so huge and novel for this woman of eighteen have been to be put to the check that night time. Subsequently, it hardly surprises us to seek out her right here, for as soon as in her life, overwrought. The chronicler quietly covers all with a discreet “prae verecundia” (simply shyness) and there she remained in her place, extra conspicuous now than ever. The Bishop of Assisi was officiating. This was Guido, true good friend of each Francis and Clare, and shut sharer of their counsels. Seeing Clare nonetheless kneeling in her place, he got here down the sanctuary and positioned the blessed palm into her hand. It got here to her from God’s minister as a pledge of battle and of victory. That night time, with one to bear her firm, Clare left her residence by a disused door and got here straight to Francis on the little chapel of Saint Mary of the Angels. He and the brothers have been ready with torches to obtain her. She got here to the tiny altar, and, by the hands of Francis, vowed herself to God completely, irrevocably, retaining nothing again. The actions have been swift, however the work itself unhurried. Three years had gone to the fashioning of it, years of prayer, reflection and sensible counsel; and now at size the gauge Christ had forged into that beneficiant soul was taken up and His mild problem, Come, comply with Me, met. And it was at Mary’s personal shrine that the dedication was made, in order that, because the Chronicler places it, Mary may grow to be the Mom of this household additionally, the spiritual daughters of Clare; as already she was the Mom of the household which Francis had gathered round this little chapel of hers within the woods.

When the ceremony was over and Clare had put aside her worldly adornments, she was carried out directly to a neighboring convent of Benedictine nuns, devoted to Saint Paul. Quickly sufficient her warlike relations found her retreat and appeared at Saint Paul’s, decided to regain her, by drive if want be. Clare was adamant, clinging to the very coverings of the altar, and baring her head that each one may see it, shorn in token of her consecration. The battle continued for a number of days, when at size, realizing the futility of making an attempt to shake her decision, her kinfolk left her in peace to God, and returned to Assisi. In actuality, this unusual scene – quickly to be repeated within the case of Clare’s sister and with even higher violence – could be very typical of an age whereby thought was the handmaid of motion and never – as so typically immediately – its substitute. One remembers Saint Bernard and the opposition he met with and triumphed over so utterly, or the revolting endeavors employed to hamper the younger Thomas Aquinas in attaining his objective, to see how this kind of bodily constraint was widespread sufficient. At the moment it finds its softened counterpart within the worldwise endeavors to distract from silly visions of the cloister these whose future careers we’ve hopefully mapped out on different strains. There’s nothing anti-clerical in both case, however simply two totally different fashions of displaying displeasure at private disappointment. Shortly after this battle – possible sufficient due to it, for it enormously disturbed the peace of the home, and, who is aware of, may maybe have been renewed – Clare moved to the convent of Saint Angelo di Panso, which was additionally Benedictine. Right here she made her earliest conquest.

Between Clare and her youthful sister, Agnes, there had lengthy existed an entire concord of thought and can. The latter shared in all her sister’s hopes and plans, and should have recognized full nicely of her devotion to Francis and of her objective to consecrate her life to God beneath his steerage. As soon as the enterprise had been made, Clare didn’t stop to wish for Agnes that she may quickly be a part of her. Her prayers have been heard; and we’re thus confronted with the primary notable occasion of the fantastic efficacy of Clare’s prayer. Little greater than a fortnight after Clare herself had left her residence, and while she was nonetheless with the Benedictine nuns of Saint Angelo di Panso, Agnes fled alone and in secret from the home of Assisi and joined her sister. It was 2 April 1212, and she or he was fifteen years of age.

Most individuals are conversant in the scene that adopted and the violent efforts – miraculously annoyed – that have been made to tug the unwilling Agnes away from the lifetime of her selection. Throughout all of the shouting and tumult, Clare prayed, and praying gained. The one consoling function on this brutal assault on one so younger is the absence of the instant household of Clare. The villain of the piece was the uncle, Monaldo, who disappears henceforward from historical past. Allow us to hope the double miracle, the sudden weight of Agnes in order that robust males couldn’t carry her, and his personal arm raised to strike and itself struck briefly ineffective and for lengthy afterwards typically in ache, may need helped flip his thoughts to raised issues. Such occasions, nevertheless, have been disquieting for the beneficiant hosts of the 2 sisters, and probably served to hasten on the needful work of preparation happening all of the whereas at Saint Damian’s, Assisi. A number of days after the tough scene with Agnes, all was sufficiently prepared and the 2 sisters entered the partitions of that historic home, nonetheless redolent of Francis’s personal work and wealthy together with his prophetic utterance that quickly it might shelter holy ladies devoted to God.

On the convent of Saint Damian, then, simply outdoors the partitions of her native city, in the identical eventful yr of 1212, Clare dropped anchor eventually. Within the lovely phrases of her first biographer, “broke the alabaster vase of her physique so the entire church was crammed with the odor of the ointment.” That this was not merely rhetoric is proven by the variety of those that got here so quickly to Saint Damian’s to affiliate themselves with Clare and Agnes of their new life. Additionally it is equally proven within the unusual, indefinable method through which Clare’s affect and instance reached, entered, and permeated different convents of girls, who have been already pursuing an ordered lifestyle and who had already been lengthy established within the Church, and led to their inclusion within the new Order.

As soon as enclosed inside the partitions of her new house, Clare by no means left it; and it now stays to deal with – and the way superficial, even at the perfect, should such remedy be – of the forty years and extra she spent there. As one seems again over these seven hundred years of Franciscan historical past, Clare nonetheless towers over all of it serene and radiant, with one thing of that brilliance which so plainly impressed these of her personal day. She was of the only a few in whom Francis discovered an completely congenial spirit, and amongst these only a few she entered as absolutely as any into the Franciscan ideally suited; she was an ideal flower on the Franciscan tree. Saint Bonaventure tells us that Francis aimed toward combining in his Order three hitherto disparate actions.

1) He would have the next of Christ in an ordered conventual life, akin to he established at Saint Mary of the Angels.

2) He would add a measure of the eremitical life by initiating such solitary houses as these of the Carceri or La Verna.

three) On this twin foundation, he would construct up an enormous missionary enterprise that may stretch out courageous arms to probably the most distant corners of the recognized world.

That Clare, enclosed at Saint Damian’s, might share within the beliefs of conventual life and retirement is obvious sufficient, however, for her, life was additionally to be apostolic. Clare’s previous good friend, Cardinal Ugolino, now Pope Gregory IX, would typically attraction to Clare for assist in the various cares and difficulties of his hold forth. Because the chronicler places it, “sciebat enim quid potest amor,” (he knew the facility of affection), and seemed to Clare and her daughters to assist the Church in all places by their apostolate of prayer and sacrifice. One is reminded directly of an earlier Gregory, the seventh, the good and saintly Hildebrand, and of his lovely letters to the monastic home he beloved so properly, to Cluny and its abbot, Hugh . Hugh is implored to safe the prayers of these ‘whose holy lives guarantee achievement’ for himself as representing that ‘common mom’, the Church. And once more one is reminded of our late Holy Father Pope Pius XI, and of the arrogance he assured us he felt in these different martyrs, as admirable and so quite a few, who’re hidden inside the cloister of a spiritual home . . . harmless victims certainly, with no different want save to show apart from the world – as many occasions they’ve accomplished – the trials of divine justice Clare was nicely conscious of this and of the work for souls that lay at her arms to do. Her cloistered life was no lifetime of idle dreaming, aloof from the world’s cares and the numerous wants of souls. We’ve a tiny however vivid illustration of this in a later incident in Clare’s life.

Assisi was being beset by a marauding band, nominally Imperial troops, underneath the speedy command of 1 Vitalis de Advert versa. Saint Damian’s itself – we will see why later – they might not contact, however the walled metropolis was considered a neater goal than any convent of girls with somebody like Clare inside. But, in attacking the town, they have been nonetheless reckoning with Clare. The wants of Assisi have been ever her personal, and so she set herself together with her daughters to wish earnestly for its security. The bandits discovered, to their shock, that they might make no headway towards the town, and shortly deserted the assault and went elsewhere for simpler conquests.

It was definitely a delight for the inmates of Saint Damian’s to pay attention as they did, from behind the grille, to the accounts the friars delivered to them of the labors and even the martyrdom of the sons of Francis in distant lands. Their curiosity didn’t finish there. By prayer, love, and sacrifice they entered into these very labors themselves. Although she emphasised the lifetime of contemplative solitude, Clare was not, and her household by no means was, aloof from Franciscan actions. In his anxious musings as as to if he ought to give up his lively life for the delights he so relished of full retirement, it was to Clare that Francis turned instinctively for steerage. From Clare he acquired the one reply an actual Franciscan might give, “non sibi soli vivere sed aliis proficere,” because the liturgy places it; i.e., to reside for others relatively than himself. And Clare’s recommendation to Francis has turn into timeless and for all.

Clare was all the time cheerful in look in addition to method, and Francis in his sorrows felt, like many others, the consoling and uplifting pressure that emanated from her. It was in a hut, by night time, within the backyard of Saint Damian’s, that Francis, struggling sorely within the eyes, and sleepless and nervous with the rats which infested the place, revealed his but untroubled soul within the candy, temporary Canticle of Reward. And if the charming legend that tells of Clare leaving Saint Damian’s to sup with Francis and the brethren on the Portiuncula lacks historic basis, it does emphasize the reality of the right concord that knit collectively these two nice souls and of the immense assist every drew from the opposite of their persevering loyalty to nice beliefs. The wooden round Saint Mary of the Angels, all brilliantly lit that night time with a supernatural glow, which introduced the neighboring peasants, because the legend tells us, in scorching haste with water to extinguish the fancied conflagration, is however a telling image of that heat of affection that true Franciscanism was in reality to hold all through the world. These holy souls beloved the world an excessive amount of to stay in it and be served by it; and they also left it that, aloof from it, they could serve it the higher.

As numbers grew, Clare – all unwillingly – accepted the inevitable workplace of Superior which Francis wished her to carry, and have become the primary Abbess within the new Order. She was a great Superior, for she acknowledged on the outset that “workplace” implies no more liberty for self however extra devoted service to others. She led, and subsequently by no means wanted to drive. She had the discerning eye that detects directly the genuinely sick and was immediate to succor them with liberal dispensations. Equally, she knew when any have been discouraged, and comforted them out of the power of her personal courageous coronary heart. She was prepared from time to time to rise and rouse from sleep the youthful ones, after which to hasten herself to the little choir to mild the lamps for the Night time Workplace, that grand prayer of the Church she beloved so properly and of the efficacy of which she was so utterly assured.

On chilly nights, she would steal quietly amongst her sisters, as they slept, and regulate the coverings to maintain them heat. Regardless of a lot illness, she was untiring in guide work particularly in weaving corporals and making silk burses to be distributed amongst poor church buildings.

Her educating mirrored her life. She spoke of self-mastery and of the necessity of penance, however correctly, with element adjusted to the person. As a result of she knew some follow to be clever in her personal case, she didn’t conclude directly that it have to be sensible for all. One can see her smile when an over-zealous sister who had been allowed to have her personal means and borrow Clare’s hair-shirt, returned it to her inside three days with no extra to say upon the topic. Far more anxious was she to make sure in her group peace of coronary heart and that spirit of detachment from residence and nation that doesn’t diminish our love for these however rises to a better degree than ever the charity we’ve got for all. There have been miracles, too, to reinforce, if want be, the place Clare got here to carry each inside and out of doors her cloister. The bread was multiplied on one event, the oil on one other. This latter was notably remembered as a result of, earlier than Clare had appeared on the scene, the anxious sister in cost had despatched an pressing message to the lay brother, whose enterprise it was to go on quest for the nuns, to return directly. This he did, however on his arrival found, to his annoyance, that his scorching haste had been unnecessary. Clare had forestalled him, and he was not needed in any case. Little marvel he discovered the sister’s joke – as he thought it – fairly misplaced.

It will be a troublesome factor to talk of Clare’s prayers, as additionally of her temptations. Even had she possessed and used that present of descriptive writing and intimate self- revelation that distinguished Saint Teresa of Avila, it will stay true of Clare, because it nonetheless stays true of Teresa, that of this stuff, by far the higher half should ever be ” the secrets and techniques of the King” recognized solely to Christ and to the soul.

Like Saint Francis, veritable Apostle of the Holy Eucharist within the thirteenth century, Clare additionally had an awesome devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. This has grow to be immortalized in a well-known scene, typically reproduced on stone and canvas. The earliest lifetime of the saint makes it fairly evident that Clare didn’t truly carry the pyx or ciborium containing the Blessed Sacrament – although we might simply pardon this later adornment of the story – however she accompanied the chaplain, whom she had summoned that he may confront the tough intruders with Him in whom all her confidence lay. It was a daring, unprecedented step; nevertheless it throws into excessive aid Clare’s easy, childlike grasp of religious realities. As she stood erect and imperturbable for one tense second dealing with the mob, she heard a tiny voice, as of slightly baby, saying, “I shall defend you all the time.” The triumph was full and instantaneous. The wild Saracen auxiliaries, within the pay of Frederick II, who had thus rudely tried, as they roved lustful and undisciplined over the countryside, to assault the calm of Saint Damian’s, fled pell-mell from the scene, completely overwhelmed by the 2 silent figures and the sacred burden they bore. Emperor Frederick was on the time in one in every of his bouts of fruitless hostility towards the Holy See and Assisi and its district have been beneath Papal suzerainty.

Though this well-known incident has rightly grouped Saint Clare among the many many saints who confirmed conspicuous devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, her love was removed from relying on such sudden crises. It was with Clare as with Francis; devotion to the Blessed Sacrament glowed heat and life-long in her soul, and marked emphasis is laid by the chronicler on her Holy Communions. One other devotion remarked in Clare was to the Sacred Ardour, and embedded therein a particular love of the 5 Wounds – that grand previous devotion as soon as so in style in Catholic England. There’s extant a Prayer in Honor of the 5 Wounds of Christ, attributed to our saint, however its authenticity is uncertain.

With all her tenderness and deep piety Clare was, nevertheless, a really decided lady, with a really robust will, undoubtedly figuring out her personal thoughts, and overriding opposition with a robust hand despite the fact that it lay in excessive quarters. When, on one event, regardless of the purpose; the chaplain, Father Philip d’Andria, was withdrawn from Saint Damian’s, Clare was stirred to speedy motion, and compelled the difficulty directly by dismissing the lay brothers who, in these occasions, have been allotted to the convent to ‘quest’ alms for the sisters. Clare relished the conferences of Father Philip “If our religious nourishment is to be uncared for,” was her argument, “allow them to hassle no extra about our corporal sustenance.” The Clares couldn’t be left to die of hunger; a chaplain was reappointed and the brothers resumed their very important duties.

Extra putting nonetheless was Clare’s angle within the matter of poverty. Nothing would transfer her in her willpower to win and to carry the weird privilege of getting no conventual property in any respect. Harmless III, tentatively, and doubtless solely by phrase of mouth, acceded to her want; however Gregory IX undoubtedly proposed that, in view of their circumstances, some materials supply of normal income was most fascinating. No, Clare would have none of it.

“If it’s your vow that makes you anxious,” stated the Pope, “I can dispense you from that.”

“Holy Father,” replied the saint, “I’ve no kind of want to be allotted from the lifelong following of Christ.”

Sensible Pope Gregory – who knew braveness when he met with it and prized it at its proper value – left it at that. Then, as Clare lay dying, Pope Harmless IV visited her and left to her in writing the Holy See’s assent to her cherished Privilege of Poverty. She had strained for this all her life. Now eventually it was hers, and she or he was completely at peace.

The years moved swiftly on. After her husband’s dying, Ortulana joined her daughter at Saint Damian’s. Clare had nice supernatural powers from God and to be marked by her with the Signal of the Cross was a swift strategy to aid from psychological or bodily struggling. Typically Clare would ship the sufferer to her mom so Ortulana may mark the Cross on the forehead of the affected person, and thus vicariously was the work of therapeutic accomplished. Francis himself had unbounded confidence in Clare’s energy of intercession, and on one event despatched to her a Brother Stephen who was a lot bothered in thoughts.

He returned to Francis utterly cured. The signal of the Cross labored wonders at Saint Damian’s, and each Agnes and Ortulana have been typically the automobiles of God’s mercy to the stricken.

What was the Rule of Life adopted at Saint Damian’s? This query, if pursued, would lead us into a terrific morass of dialogue and argument. It is sufficient to recall two established details. Clare definitely acquired a Rule of Lifetime of some type from Saint Francis not lengthy after settling at Saint Damian’s, and it could actually hardly be doubted that, aside from recognizing the wholly enclosed lifetime of the Sisters, it resembled the Rule of Life he had given the friars themselves. As with them, so with the Clares, oral approval from Pope Harmless III should suffice. Point out is made from this rule afterward by Pope Gregory IX in a letter he wrote to Blessed Agnes of Bohemia. He speaks there of the “formulation vita” (lifestyle) that Francis had given to Clare and her daughters at Saint Damian’s. Then, earlier than the saint’s demise, a particular rule was drawn up beneath her path and absolutely in accord together with her life-long hopes and beliefs; and this was confirmed in writing by Pope Harmless IV in 1253.

The whole exterior material of Poor Clare life is “contemplative.” Its entire objective is to facilitate and foster the contemplative life of every particular person nun. It’s bent uniquely to that objective. But, that is removed from implying that it’s the one unique path thereto. The inside life with God is open to each honest soul whether or not on the earth or within the cloister. We’ve got universities all over the place that profess to be seats of studying, to encourage and to offer particular amenities for the acquisition of studying. But, studying could also be pursued elsewhere by all with the required aptitude and want for it. So it’s within the issues of the spirit. A “contemplative order” claims no monopoly on contemplation. But, its function is to get rid of as many obstacles as attainable and to offer as many helps as potential to allow its members to develop a deep inside life. In a phrase, as our Lord as soon as stated to Saint Margaret of Cortona, it’s to be a “collegium divini amoris” (a college of the love of God), serving to those that stay in it, and galvanizing emulation from those that are outdoors.

It now stays to talk of Clare’s fantastic and most completely satisfied demise in August 1253.

She had lengthy been ailing and sometimes in ache, however now eventually it was evident that the top was close to. It’s astonishing to learn of the various and distinguished guests who felt it a privilege to have the ability to go to the dying saint. Nothing exhibits extra clearly, how deeply her instance and her lengthy cloistered life, and her high quality character, which no mere partitions might shut in, had impressed all courses spherical about her little convent. The odor of the ointment had certainly crammed all God’s home. She lives within the pages of Celano, extra vividly than ever as dying attracts close to. Her phrases remained indelibly imprinted upon the minds of all who heard her.

The Franciscan priest, Father Raynaldo, got here to condole together with her in her sufferings and – most foolishly – to exhort Clare of all individuals to the anemic advantage of mere resignation.

To this, she replied, “Father, since, by way of His servant Francis, I got here to know the sweetness of my Lord Jesus Christ, no trial has ever been a burden to me, no austerity has ever been irksome to me, no illness, my dearest Brother, has ever been bitter to me.”

Her phrases are virtually fierce of their vigor and martial of their ring. They unveil for us very clearly a splendid instance of the “mulier fords” (robust lady) of Holy Scripture. They reveal the very fact, so typically ignored, that for gentle, languishing, sentimental souls, the convent gives no refuge in any respect.

A customer of one other sort was Brother Juniper. What a pleasure it’s to seek out him portrayed right here – as he actually was – “egregius Domini Jaculator” (Christ’s Lancer), filled with fast wit and really human sympathies, however removed from being the mere knockabout comic he’s described elsewhere.

When he entered the sickroom, Clare jokingly greeted him by asking what religious toy he had up his sleeve. As all of the saints have a method of speaking deeply with out being solemn and ponderous, the dialog that adopted between these two grand souls was of simply that kind, and it left Clare splendidly comforted.

One other customer was Cardinal Raynaldo, Bishop of Ostia, who later turned Pope Alexander IV. He gave Clare Holy Communion and later preached phrases of consolation to all her nuns. He was the Order’s Protector, and Clare profited by his go to to implore him to do his utmost to win for her particular and official assent to her cherished Privilege of Poverty. He promised and succeeded.

Lastly, Pope Harmless IV himself visited. Right here, certainly, we have now the climax of this nice stream of tourists, drawn, as by a magnet, to Saint Damian’s. A private go to from the Pope himself was an absolute unprecedented honor executed to the dying Clare. On the morning of the day he got here, Clare acquired Holy Communion by the hands of the Minister Provincial. When the Pope entered her cell, he drew close to the sofa on which the saint lay, and, with immense reverence, she kissed his ft. As soon as was not sufficient; and, to fulfill her ardor, he raised his foot onto somewhat foot stool, so she may extra simply attain and kiss it once more. Clare’s love of the Holy See was very actual and most ardent, as was that of Francis, and her loyalty was absolute. The Pope knew this, and by such courtesy, acknowledged it. She then begged the Holy Father to grant her, in God’s identify, full forgiveness for all her sins.

“Would my want was as yours,” he answered, and willingly gave her plenary absolution. Earlier than he left, Clare acquired from him that cherished approbation from the Holy See of her Order and of her beloved Poverty. No marvel, when all was over and Clare might mirror in peace on the occasions of that nice day, that she expressed her sense of immense privilege in having been allowed with so brief an area to obtain her Lord and Grasp in Holy Communion, after which to have seen His Vicar on earth. As ever, Clare’s ideas couldn’t relaxation for lengthy upon herself. She had others and the longer term in thoughts. From her sick mattress, Clare, like Francis earlier than her, blessed from her coronary heart all homes of Clares “precise or to be.”

Nonetheless the stream of tourists flowed out and in. Now that the top was so plainly at hand, a couple of privileged ones remained, notably these well-known sons of Francis, Leo and Angelo. It was an exquisite group, for we should keep in mind that Agnes was with them at Saint Damian’s once more. As is pure, Agnes felt most the approaching separation.

“Don’t weep,” Clare says to her. “Quickly will you comply with me.” Then the dying saint murmurs on, half to herself, hardly conscious of others. “Go forth with confidence,” they hear her repeat. “Go forth with confidence; thou hast a very good information for the street. Go forth, for He who created thee has sanctified thee; He watches over thee; and, as a mom her youngster, so He too with tender love has cherished thee. Blessed artwork Thou, my Lord, my Creator.”

Because the final moments draw close to we aren’t stunned to seek out how skinny develop the veils hiding from human eyes God’s invisible creation round us. The dying have sight extra eager than the dwelling. To the dying Clare comes the imaginative and prescient splendid of the King. Enraptured, she gazes ahead then turns to the sister at her aspect, “Daughter,” she whispers, “do you see, as I, the King of Glory?” Then, all of the sudden she is struck, as with a blow, by a shaft of intense sorrow. How can littleness, corresponding to hers, ever have entry to such splendor? Averted eyes transfer in the direction of the open doorway of her cell. Lo! It’s full of Angels grouped collectively, white and sensible, and of their midst, Mary. The Blessed Virgin attracts close to the mattress, bends over it, and kisses the dying saint. In that flood of Heavenly radiance, Clare passes. It’s 11 August, the morrow of Saint Laurence’s day.

The burial was a triumph. One may need fancied some nice prince was being carried to his grave, so huge and distinguished was the gathering. Harmless IV was there and lots of Cardinals. In reality, the Pope was so carried away by his enthusiastic religion in Clare’s sanctity that, however for Cardinal Raynaldo, who deemed it untimely, he would have substituted within the burial service the Workplace of Virgins for the standard Workplace for the Lifeless.

All went ahead, nevertheless, as prescribed within the Ritual. The physique of the saint was taken to the Church of Saint George, or in all probability, to the little chapel adjoining, by which the physique of Saint Francis had rested for 4 years. When, for higher safety, the Clares later moved to Saint George from their convent of Saint Damian, this little chapel was included into their new residence; and the physique of Clare rests there to today.

Two years later, and after the standard cautious investigation into the various miracles wrought by the saint, Clare was solemnly canonized at Anagni by her previous pal Cardinal Raynaldo, reigning now as Pope Alexander IV.

NOTE – Current analysis has established the truth that, through the communal rising at Assisi, at first of the thirteenth century, Clare’s household was amongst these pressured to take refuge in Perugia, and their home in Assisi was sacked. Clare, then, definitely spent a few of her childhood years in Perugia and it’s probably that her warlike father and uncle have been engaged within the victorious battle of 1202 towards the communal forces of Assisi in whose ranks the younger Francis himself was preventing, and through which he was made prisoner. When hostilities have been over, one of many circumstances imposed on Assisi was to permit the peaceful return of those that had been pushed out. Thus the identical event introduced again, although in very totally different teams, each Francis and Clare to their native city and Assisi, even in these distant days, might watch the return of prisoners-of-war and displaced individuals.

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