Feast Day of St. Clare of Assisi
Today, August 11th, we celebrate the Feast Day of Saint Clare of Assisi. Saint Clare was born on July
16, 1194 in a noble home in Assisi, Italy. She was the first female follower of Saint Francis and lived in the church of San Damiano that Saint Francis had renovated for the sisters. Saint Clare following Francis' mission founded the Poor Clare Sisters, who devoted their life to prayer and simple labor in a monastery.
Saint Clare of Assisi is the patron saint of the television since she could not attend Mass she was known for seeing and hearing Mass from her room. Saint Clare was has been greatly known for her Miracle of the Eucharist. Here is an account of the incident from The History of Saint Clare, Virgin, written by Tomaso da Celano:
“By imperial order, regiments of Saracen soldiers and bowmen were stationed there (the convent of San Damiano in Assisi, Italy), massed like bees, ready to devastate the encampments and seize the cities. Once, during an enemy attack against Assisi, city beloved of the Lord, and while the army was approaching the gates, the fierce Saracens invaded San Damiano, entered the confines of the monastery and even the very cloister of the virgins. The women swooned in terror, their voices trembling with fear as they cried to their Mother, Saint Clare.
Saint Clare, with a fearless heart, commanded them to lead her, sick as she was, to the enemy, preceded by a silver and ivory case in which the Body of the Saint of saints was kept with great devotion. And prostrating herself before the Lord, she spoke tearfully to her Christ: ‘Behold, my Lord, is it possible You want to deliver into the hands of pagans Your defenseless handmaids, whom I have taught out of love for You? I pray You, Lord, protect these Your handmaids whom I cannot now save by myself.’ Suddenly a voice like that of a child resounded in her ears from the tabernacle: ‘I will always protect you!’ ‘My Lord,’ she added, ‘if it is Your wish, protect also this city which is sustained by Your love.’ Christ replied, ‘It will have to undergo trials, but it will be defended by My protection.’ Then the virgin, raising a face bathed in tears, comforted the sisters: ‘I assure you, daughters, that you will suffer no evil; only have faith in Christ.
Upon seeing the courage of the sisters, the Saracens took flight and fled back over the walls they had scaled, unnerved by the strength of she who prayed. And Clare immediately admonished those who heard the voice I spoke of above, telling them severely: ‘Take care not to tell anyone about that voice while I am still alive, dearest daughters.’"
Saint Clare took the monstrance and raised it upon her enemies. Her enemies froze and fled at the sight of God. Those living in Assisi were grateful that there town had not been invaded.