St. Clare was born on July 16, 1194 and died on August 11, 1253. She was the daughter of a count and countess. She heard St. Francis preach in the streets of Assisi and told him of her desire to give herself to God. They grew to be close friends. On Palm Sunday in the year 1212 the bishop of Assisi presented a palm to this noble maid of eighteen who was beautifully garbed. That same night she left her castle with one acquaintance and went to the church of Our Lady of the Angels, where she met Francis and his Brothers.
At the altar of Our Lady, Francis cut off her hair and Clare gave her life to Christ. In an old house outside Assisi she began her Order of the Poor Clares. Later, her sister and mother and other noble ladies joined her. They lived a life of prayer, silence and fasting. One day, enemies of the Church were about to attack the convent. The saint had the Blessed Sacrament placed in a monstrance above the gate of the convent and, kneeling before it, she prayed for help. Abruptly the enemy fled. During her illness of 28 years the Holy Eucharist was her strength. She died in 1253.
She is the patroness of, eye disease, goldsmiths, laundry, embroiderers, gilders, good weather, needle workers, Santa Clara Pueblo, telephones, telegraphs, and television. Pope Pius XII selected her as the patron saint of television in 1958, on the basis that when she was too ill to be present at Mass, she had reportedly been able to see and hear it on the wall of her room. Her remains were entombed at the chapel of San Giorgio while a church to hold her remains was being built. On August 15, 1255, Pope Alexander IV canonized Clare as Saint Clare of Assisi.
Construction of the Basilica of Saint Clare was completed in 1260, and on October 3 of that year Clare’s remains were moved to the recently completed basilica where they were buried under the high altar. In further acknowledgment of the saint, Pope Urban IV officially altered the name of the Order of Poor Ladies to the Order of Saint Clare in 1263. About 600 years later in 1872, Saint Clare’s remains were transferred to a newly constructed memorial in the crypt of the Basilica of Saint Clare where they can still be seen now.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 18 December 2016
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