Born Chiara Offreduccio, Clare of Assisi is an Italian saint who has made history by being one of the first followers of Saint Francis of Assisi.
Growing up, Clare was devoted to prayer. In fact, her first encounter with Francis of Assisi was when she was a teenager, attending a Lenten service where he preached the Gospel. Inspired by his teachings, Clare approached Francis and sought his guidance on how she could live on the manner of the Gospel.
In response to Clare’s request, Francis sent the young saint-to-be into a Benedictine monastery in Subasio, Italy. For a while, Clare stayed in the monastery with the Benedictine nuns—until they were transferred into a small dwelling next to the church of San Damiano.
In San Damiano, Clare and the other Benedictine nuns lived a simple life of poverty, austerity, and seclusion from the world. Inspired by their shared beliefs and tradition, Clare started the “Order of Poor Ladies of San Damiano” where she served as an undisputed leader for the rest of her life.
The order, which served as a monastic religious order for women in the Franciscan tradition, followed the “Rule of Life” which was personally written by Clare and was reported to be the first-ever set of monastic guidelines known to have been written by a woman. (Read: Meet the woman who captured the first-ever image of a black hole)
In 1263, following the death of Clare of Assisi, the Order of Poor Ladies has been renamed into the Order of Saint Clare (know today as the “Poor Clares”) to bring honor to the life of the loving saint. Every year, they celebrate her feast day on the 11th of August.
Prayer to St. Clare of Assisi
O glorious Saint Clare, God has given you the power of working miracles continually, and the favor of answering the prayers of those who invoke your assistance in misfortune, anxiety, and distress. We beseech you, obtain for us from Jesus, through Mary, His Blessed Mother, what we beg of you so fervently and hopefully, if it be for the greater honor and glory of God and for the good of our souls.
O Blessed Saint Clare, your life shines like a beacon and cast its light down the ages of the Church to guide the way of Christ.
Look with compassion on the poor and humble who call on you for help. As you bow before your Eucharistic Lord in Heaven, speak to Him of my afflicted body and my broken spirit. Ask Him to heal me and to wash away my sins in His precious Blood.
Great Servant of Christ, remember the needs of my family and all those I pray for. Defend us from everything that would threaten our Holy Catholic faith.
Hear the cry of the poor and make it a song of intercession, rising from your poor heart to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, our Healer, our Savior, and our Lord. Amen.
Prayer from vaticansite.com.