Saint Clare of Assisi

Mercredi 11 août 2021

• Saint Clare of Assisi 11th August • • “If your Brother has committed a sin against you, go to him by yourself and explain his fault. If he listens to you, you will have earned back your brother.” • • God invites us to enter into His Eternal Life. Our desire is to respond to God’s Love with all our being so as to dwell within , allowing Him to shine forth through us. • The Church fixes the date of birth of Saint Clare as the 16th July 1194. Tradtion tells us that she is the daughter of Favarone di Offreducio degli Scifi, probably descendant from the line of the nobles of the Counts of Coccorano • Around 1214 Clare attends the Lenten preaching in St George’s Church of Assisi given by Francis Bernadone, son a a bourgeos gentleman who had recently left all he possessed to follow the ideal of a life conform to the Gospel. Claire was full of enthusiasm after hearing this preaching and was conquered by the ideal of poverty as the Gospel manifests And she thus decided to give up all worldly goods. On 20th March 1212 in the evening of Palm Sunday she surreptitiously left her family accompanied by one of her aunts, to join Francis and his companions at the Portioncule. She was clothed by them with a tunic of rough cloth, a habit, and they cut her hair as a sign of renouncement. Since Claire could’nt live with men , she took refuge at the Sao Paulo Benedictine convent of Nuns. Francis then commended her to the Benedictines of the Holy Angel of Panzo on the foothills of Mount Subasio , south-east of Assisi. Sixteen days later her younger sister, Catherine, comes and joins her there. At the end of April 1212, Francis settles the new community close to the San Damiano chapel, placing Claire at the head of it. In 2014 she becomes ‘abbesse’ despite her reluctance. Jesus allows us to participate in the Infinite Love of His Divine Life. To love Jesus means to love one another, thus entering into communion to Divine Life together. o “If he doesn’t listen to you, take with you one or two other people so that the business is ended on the word of two or three witnesses.If he refuses to listen to you, tell the whole Church community ; if he still refuses to listen to the Church,then consider him as a pagan and a publican.” If we are to love as God loves, this can be verified by the way we love with our whole being for the good of others, for their vital interest. To love as God loves means to act out of interest for others and for their Salvation.It means that we turn towards trueLove which flows form the Heart of God ; it means that we grow together. Francis will give a rule of life that was inspired from the Friars Minor. Thus was born the Order of the Poor Dames, or the Order of Poor Clares. In 1216 the Order will have recieved from Pope Innocent III ‘the privilege of poverty’, that of observing an absolute poverty. The Order will send Sisters throughout the whole of Europe to found monasteries claiming the Rule of Saint Francis. When Francis dies in 1226, Claire resists any pressure to become richer, her whole life tends towards her desire to live a poor life. There always lies the risk of perverting God’s Love in a solidarity and a risk to move forward without Him. The Word invites us to watch over what is good for our sisters and brothers. To warn them against anythng that turns them away from doing God’s Will so that together we walk towards God. “Amen I say to you, anything that you will have tied on earth will be tied in Heaven, and anything you will have untied on earth will be untied in Heaven. Once again I say to you : if two of you on earth decide to agree to ask for something, you will obtain it from my Heavenly Father. When two or three are gathered together in my Name, I am in your midst.” Jesus asks us in Church to correct our sisters and brothers in a fraternal manner. Cardinal Raynald in 1247 gave his approval to the Rule drawn up by Clare on the basis of that given by Francis. Pope Innocent IV visited Clare on her death bed at the end of July 1253. On the 9th August the Sovereign Pontiff gave his approval to the Rule of the Order of Clarisses. Just two days later at the age of 59, Clare died on the 11th August 1253, holding in her hands the privilege of poverty. Pope Innocnet IV attended her funeral and asked permission from the Bishop Barthelemy to introduce the process of her canonisation. Two years later, she is canonised by Pope Alexandra IV in the Cathdral of Santa maria d’Anagni. Almost simultaneously there begins work on a Church in Assisi, the Basilica Saint Clare which is destined to honour the Saint. We are moving towards God’s Infinte Love at work in the Church, the place where God’s Love is given through Jesus Christ ! Humanity and Jesus Christ are linked together, the weight of the Love of Christ lved out in His Passion and Ressurection in the Paschal Mystery become more obvious to us all.