St. Clare

Friends in Christ, today is the Feast of St. Clare.  
St. Clare grew up in the town of Assisi, the same town as St. Francis. Her father, who was a Count, and very important, had plans for her to marry a wealthy nobleman when she grew up. Her mother however, taught her children that money and fine things can keep people from thinking about God.
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One day, Clare was listening to St. Francis teaching in the town square. She felt that God was calling her to give him her whole life, and so she went to meet Francis to speak about this. He told her to pray, and to think about God’s call. Clare considered it for some time, and decided that God WAS calling her to a life of simplicity and poverty. So one night, on Palm Sunday, Clare left her home dressed up in beautiful clothes and jewelry – after all, she thought, I should look like a bride, I’m going to become the bride of Christ!
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She went to the little Portiuncula Church where stayed Francis and his companions. There, before the altar, lit up with candles in the dark, she took off her veil and fancy jewelry, and put on a grey robe, with a rope around her waist, and wooden sandals for her feet. Then holding out her long, golden hair, she said to Francis: ‘Let it be cut off.’ And so Francis sheared off her golden hair, and she pronounced her vows to God. Clare then went to live with some Benedictine Sisters, where she learned about being a Sister and convent life.
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When her father and relatives found out, they were furious, and went to the Convent. But when Clare showed them her cut-off hair, they realized they could never change her strong will. She had a very strong will!
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Clare was a leader, and soon her sister Agnes joined her, and many other wealthy girls from the town. They formed the Poor Clares, and lived their life in poverty as a little family, praying and working together for God.
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One time, an army of Muslims attacked their city, and was trying to get into the Convent to destroy it. As they tried climbing the walls of the Convent, Clare raced to the chapel, and taking the Blessed Sacrament, ran up to the roof. There she held up the Lord, and prayed to God with all her strength. The Muslims stopped in their tracks. Gripped by a mysterious terror, they fled, and did no harm to the entire district. For this reason Clare is usually pictured holding up the Blessed Sacrament.
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St. Clare embraced a simplicity of life. She discovered that a simple life allows more room for God.

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