On August 11, 1253 A.D., Clare of Assisi, abbess of the Community of Poor Ladies of San Damiano, breathed her last on earth. Born to the noble Offreduccio family (1193/4 A.D.), she was moved by the persuasive preaching of Francis of Assisi, renouncing her birthright and worldly riches to follow him in poverty and adherence to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Thus began the Second Order of Franciscans, this one for women, later known as the Poor Clares.
To honor the August 11th feast of Saint Clare of Assisi (1194 – 1253 A.D.), we consider the life and spirituality of this first female Franciscan religious.
August 11th marks the feast day of Saint Clare of Assisi (1194-1253), a woman of outstanding virtue such that she was canonized only two years after her death. Her name is forever linked with that of the man she called “our Blessed Father Francis,” the beloved saint of Assisi who paved the way for Clare and her Sisters.
August 11th, the Feast of Saint Clare of Assisi (1194 – 1253), offers an opportunity to explore the life of a woman of shining virtue. Her religious vocation was a direct outgrowth of that of her contemporary and mentor, the beloved Saint Francis (1182 – 1226).
For Franciscans worldwide, August 2nd marks a very important, special feast day – the Feast of Our Lady of Angels. The title of Our Lady which this feast commemorates has a direct connection to Saint Francis of Assisi (1182 – 1226) and to the Religious Orders which he founded. The “little portion,” or Portiuncula, brings to mind significant events which resound in our hearts as we celebrate this feast day once again.