Saturday, August 11, 2007

St. Clare of Assisi

Cofoundress of the Order of Poor Ladies, or Clares, and first Abbess of San Damiano; born at Assisi, 16 July, 1194; died there 11 August, 1253.

She was the eldest daughter of Favorino Scifi, Count of Sasso-Rosso, the wealthy representative of an ancient Roman family, who owned a large palace in Assisi and a castle on the slope of Mount Subasio. Such at least is the traditional account. Her mother, Bl. Ortolana, belonged to the noble family of Fiumi and was conspicuous for her zeal and piety.

During a sermon today, it was remarked that she was the real implementer of St. Francis's plans for renewing the Church. I'm glad she decided to do it, because we're still enjoying the benefits today eight hundred years later, especially in New York, home to many a good Franciscan and the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.

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