Friday, July 10, 2020
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Why do Filipinos offer eggs to Santa Clara when they want good weather?

Are you wishing for blue skies for a noteworthy occasion? Don’t worry—all you need to do is bring eggs to a special convent to keep gales away. At least that’s what we Pinoy Catholics believe, and the practice of offering eggs for fair weather has become a tradition that has been handed down from one generation to the next. 

Who is the top-of-mind saint we offer eggs to? 

Most definitely St. Clare. Many people—especially soon-to-be-wed couples—head to the nearest St. Clare convent to offer eggs wrapped in colorful cellophane as they fervently pray for good weather for their big day. 

Why St. Clare? 

Eggs have become linked to the saint because her name means “clear.” As Sr. Ma. Amelia de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe of the Madre Jeronima Federation of Monasteries of St. Clare once said in an interview, “those who want to have clear skies, a clear mind, or a clear conscience seek her intercession. It’s also because the egg white is clear.” Another reason is that St. Clare, a devotee of St. Francis of Assisi, is considered the patron saint of good weather; according to Margaret Rose Realy’s A Catholic Gardener’s Spiritual Almanac (2015), in Castile, Spain, “clara means ‘a short interval of fair weather on a rainy day.’” 

But why eggs? 

Margaret Rose Realy explains, “the egg was used by St. Mary Magdalene to describe the creation of the heavens and earth, where the egg whites signified the air and sky; in Spanish, the albumen or whites of eggs are the claras.” Many advise to offer a dozen eggs—one egg for each month, even if you’re only asking for good weather for one day in particular. Besides, who wouldn’t want to have fair weather all year round?

Is it really just Filipino Catholics who practice this? 

Sr. Ma. Amelia said that the tradition can actually be traced all the way back to the medieval times when nobles liked to donate to monasteries, and monks would indicate their preference, which was, you guessed it: eggs! This was because eggs are such a versatile ingredient! Of course we all know that eggs—especially the yolk—are served as food. But as far back as feudal times, egg whites were actually used as mortar ingredients for stone buildings.

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Text by Yen Cantiga and Stephanie Jesena-Novero.

Still curious about why Filipinos offer eggs to St. Clare? Grab a copy of the July issue of My Pope Philippines. 

Subscribe now to My Pope Philippines for your daily dose of inspirational stories! Call +63917.711.1818 to order back issues.

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