St. Clare of Assisi…how I love her so. Cofoundress of the Order of Poor Ladies, or Clares, and first Abbess of San Damiano; born at Assisi, 16 July, 1194; died there 11 August, 1253. I can’t even begin to describe the effect St. Clare has had on my life. My relationship with her goes so deep that any words I could come up with would not honor her as I wish I could.
The best DVD I have ever seen on the life of Clare and Francis is (and I’ve seen them all) the newest distributed by Ignatius Press. Clare is protrayed as a woman in love with Christ, not a starry-eyed hippy pining over Francis. And she gets equal time…finally. This film is perfect!
I should share this little story of my own. In 2007, I had a chance to visit Assisi…I just wanted to be near St. Clare. I didn’t plan it, but my hotel ended up being right across the street from St. Clare’s Basilica (it seems wrong to call it a street, it’s width is so small). Really early one morning, I just couldn’t sleep so I got up and began walking around outside of the Basilica. No one was out, all the shops closed, the sun was just coming up. On a whim I thought I would see if the doors of the church were open (thinking to myself of course they wouldn’t be), but to my surprise they opened. So I entered. No one was around. I saw steps leading down to a lower level. I stepped over the rope blocking the entrance (boorish American that I am) and walked down. The path led down to an area that had a display of relics, like clothing and other items (I assumed they were Clare’s) and then I turned around and saw something incredible…the crypt of St. Clare. It stopped me in my tracks, so much so that I had to remind myself to breath again. I quietly walked over to the enclosure grates that blocked off getting any closer. I knelt down, and I just started to weep…I just couldn’t help it. It was so quiet, it was such a gift. I began to pray. I brought to St. Clare all the petitions I held so deeply in my heart. And when that was done, silence filled the space. After about 10 minutes, out of nowhere, I could here the sound of the Poor Clare Sisters in the distance chanting their morning prayers. I knelt at that spot, for a good 30 minutes or so, all alone with St. Clare. I then got up, praised God for this special moment and left the basilica. She’s been with me, in a special way, ever since. St. Clare, pray for us.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 11th, 2010 at 9:30 am
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.