Saint Clare of Assisi was born with the name Chiara Offreduccio. The name is also spelled as Clara, Clair or Claire. She was the founder of the Order of Saint Clare or the Poor Clares. She was born on July 16 1194 in Assisi, Italy and also died there on August 11 1253. Her feast day is usually celebrated on August 11 every year in the Catholic Church.
|Saint Clare of Assisi Biography|
|Date of Birth||July 16 1194|
|Place of Birth||Assisi, Italy|
|Profession||Nun and founder of the Order of Saint Clare or the Poor Clares|
|Place of Work||Assisi, Italy|
|Date of Death||August 11 1253 at the age of 59|
|Place of Death||Assisi, Italy|
|Feast Day||August 11|
|Canonization||By Pope Alexander IV on September 26 1255 in Rome, Italy|
|Patron Saint of||
Saint Clare, Virgin Life History
St Clare was born in Assisi with the name Chiara Offreduccio. Her father was called Favorino Sciffi and was very wealthy with a castle on the slope of Mount Subasio and a big palace in Assisi. Her mother was called Ortolana and was very pious and devout Christian. She was the firstborn daughter and had two other sisters namely Beatrix and Catarina (St Agnes of Assisi).
St Clare was very prayerful and one day she met St Francis of Assisi in the church of San Giorgio at Assisi and requested him to help her live as the Gospel teaches.
At the age of eighteen years, on March 20 1212, on the evening of Palm Sunday, Clare secretly left her home in the company of her aunt and another faithful and went to meet St Francis of Assisi at the Porziuncula Chapel. She gave up her expensive gown and wore a veil and a plain robe and her hair was trimmed.
She was accepted by the Benedictine nuns of San Paulo, near Bastia, and began living there. Since her father had different motives for her, he arranged for her marriage and therefore tried to force her to leave the convent and go back home to get married.
Clare resisted all those attempts and adamantly declared that Jesus Christ is her only husband. She tightly clung to the altar and removed her veil to expose her trimmed hair which showed her seriousness in her vocation.
To spare Clare of the constant disruptions from her father, St Francis of Assisi relocated her to another Benedictine nuns monastery of Sant’Angelo in Panzo. She was joined later by her sister Catarina. After some time, they moved to another small dwelling that was made for them near the San Damiano Church. Other women later joined them including her mother and people christened them the name “Poor Ladies of San Damiano”. This is because they live a life of seclusion, poverty and austerity as per the Rule that St Francis had given them.
St Clare’s order came to be called the “Order of Poor Ladies of San Damiano” and she became the leader. But in 1263, it took the name “Order of Saint Clare” after its leader.
In 1228, Clare declined an advisory that had been extended to her, that she should not live in abject poverty and the pope agreed with her that nobody should force them to accept material possessions
Saint Clare’s sisters did not go out to preach but remained enclosed in prayer and doing manual labour. They observed great silence, walked barefoot, ate no meat, and slept on the hard ground.
Before Clare became the abbess of her abbey, she was just a prioress under the direction of St Francis of Assisi. As abbess, she fought attempts from other people who wanted her order to loosen their strict Franciscan-like vows.
During St Francis’s last days before death, St Clare took care of him. She embraced Francis as her spiritual father. After St Francis died, Clare steered the growth of her order and maintained the order’s vows of poverty and joy just as Jesus Christ lived. On August 9 1253, two days before her death, Pope Innocent IV approved the Rule that St Clare had written and it became the governing rule for Clare’s Order of Poor Ladies.
It is believed that through the constant prayers by St Clare to Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament which she had placed in a monstrance, above the gate of the monastery facing the enemy, the attacks by Roman Emperor Frederick II on the town of Assisi and the monastery of San Damiano were subdued on both September 1240 and June 1241.
St Clare of Assisi’s Death
Before St Clare died, she had suffered from poor health for a long time and on August 11 1253 she died at the age of 59 years.
St Clare of Assisi’s remains were initially interred at the chapel of San Giorgio before the new Basilica of Saint Clare was completed in 1260. The remains were moved here and were buried beneath the high altar. Later in 1872, they were moved to the crypt of the newly constructed shrine still within the Basilica of Saint Clare.
Pope Innocent IV hastened the canonization process for Clare before he died on December 7, 1254. The examination of her miracles took six days while the whole process took two years. Pope Alexander IV canonized Clare as Saint Clare of Assisi on September 26 1255 in Rome Italy
Saint Clare of Assisi Feast Day
Initially, her feast day was celebrated on August 12 because August 11, the day of her death, was already occupied by the feast of Saints Tiburtius and Susanna. After the feast of Saints Tiburtius and Susanna was removed from the General Roman Calendar in 1969, St Clare of Assisi’s feast day was moved to August 11 as a memorial where it is until today.
Churches, Institutions, Places, and Features named after Saint Clare of Assisi
- Basilica of Saint Clare in Assisi, Italy (Basilica di Santa Chiara)
- Real Monasterio de Santa Clara, Metro Manila, Philippines
- Lake St Clair located between Ontario, Canada and Michigan, United States
- Saint Clair River, Michigan, United States
- Saint Clair Shores, Michigan, United States
- Saint Clair County, Michigan, United States
- Mission Santa Clara de Asís, Santa Clara, California, United States
- Santa Clara University, Santa Clara in Silicon Valley, California, United States
- Santa Clara City in Santa Clara County, California, United States
- Santa Clara County, California, United States
- Santa Clara Valley in California, United States
- Santa Clara River in Southern California, United States
- Santa Clarita City in Los Angeles County, California, United States
- Santa Clara Pueblo in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, United States
- Convento de Santa Clara de Asis, Havana, Cuba
- Santa Clara City in Villa Clara province, Cuba
- The Catedral de Santa Clara de Asís in Santa Clara, Cuba
Saint Clare of Assisi is the Patron Saint of
- Television (In 1958, Pope Pius XII declared Saint Clare of Assisi as the patron saint of television because when she was very ill, she could not attend mass but was able to see and hear it on the wall in her room.)
- Santa Clara, California
- Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico
- Remote viewing
- Obando, Bulacan, Philippines
- Good weather
- Eye disease
- Extrasensory perception
- Bicycle messengers
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