August 11                                                                                           Patroness of:
CLARE 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 became close friends.
On Palm Sunday, in the year 1212, the Bishop of Assisi presented a palm to this noble maiden of eighteen, who was beautifully dressed. That same night she left her castle with one companion 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 started 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. Suddenly the enemy fled.
During her illness of twenty-eight years, the Holy Eucharist was her strength. She died in 1253.
O God, in Your mercy, You led St. Clare to embrace poverty. Through her intercession help us to follow Christ in the spirit of poverty and to contemplate You in the heavenly Kingdom.

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