St. Clare of Assisi

St. Clare of Assisi holding the Holy Eucharist

“St. Clare of Assisi” by Joan Y. Edwards

St. Clare’s feast day is April 11. She was born July 16, 1194  and died on August 11, 1253.

St. Clare’s father wanted her to get married at the age of 15. She asked to wait until she was 18. When she was 18,  she heard and became intrigued with St. Francis of Assisi and his manner of giving up much for God. St. Francis cut her hair and gave her a robe for her habit. She got her sister, St. Agnes, to join her.  They called themselves Poor Sisters. After her death, Pope changed the named the order of nuns after her…the St. Clares. Her order of nuns did not move around the countryside. They lived in place together spending time doing manual labor and praying. They lived without money. Like St. Francis, Clare believed it was joyous to live in poverty in imitation of Christ.

There are two stories that are interesting to me about St. Clare.

  1. She was quite ill. When rough soldiers of Frederick II were coming to raid her convent, she had the blessed sacrament placed at the gates where they could see it. She knelt there inside the walls and asked God to protect the sisters in her care.  The soldiers became very frightened and left quickly without harming St. Clare and her companions.
  2. Pope Pius XII designated her as the patron saint of television in 1958 because when Clare was too sick to attend Mass, it was said that she was able to see and hear it on the wall of her room. Isn’t it interesting that Mother Angelica, who is a Poor Clare Nun, founded the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN)?

Resources:

Catholic.org http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=215

Wikipedia.org http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clare_of_Assisi

Devotional: Remember that praying always makes things better. The Lord’s Prayer is my favorite. “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive our trespassers. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.”

 

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Do something good to show that you love God today!
Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright © 2012 Joan Y. Edwards

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St. Ignatius of Loyola

statue of St. Ignatius of Loyola

St. Ignatius of Loyola Statue

St. Ignatius of Loyola (Spain) was the founder of the Jesuit Priests. Feastday: July 31

In 1521 when in the military protecting a Spanish town from the French, a cannon struck St. Ignatius. It wounded one leg and broke the other one.  He could no longer be a soldier in the military. The broken leg didn’t heal right, so the doctors had to break it again. They didn’t have anesthetics and St. Ignatius survived a painful operation that might have killed other people.  When they reset the bone, it stuck out below the knee, and made that leg much shorter than the other. He didn’t like it sticking out, so he had the doctors cut off the part of the bone that stuck out. He tried stretching his leg, but it didn’t work, so the rest of his life he always walked with a limp. Children made fun of him. I imagine adults may have made fun of him, too.

After his surgery, the only reading material available for him to read was the lives of the Saints. He experienced a vision of the Virgin Mary and the infant Jesus while at the shrine of Our Lady of Montserrat in March 1522. He decided to become a soldier in the Catholic Faith. Knelt in prayer for 7 hours a day in a cave. He created exercises meant to help people get closer to God.  He traveled to the Holy Land to see where Jesus lived. He founded the Order of Jesuit Priests.

Devotional:

Think about how you and St. Ignatius of Loyola are alike. You might limp through life at different stages. You might not have a clear view of yourself. You might see yourself as limping, when you actually walk better than you used to.

Think about the people who don’t have legs. They would love to swap places with those who have both legs, even if they had to limp from place to place. The grass may seem greener on the other side. Other people may seem to have it better than you. Actually each person has rough things to go through. However, when we have an open relationship with God. When we talk with him and trust in him to help us make the best of our bodies and minds, then we won’t be limping spiritually. We will one day be soaring with God in heaven.

I hope you enjoyed reading my blog. I am honored that you are here.

Turn your flaws into assets; love yourself as God loves you.
Joan Y. Edwards