On Palm Sunday March 18, 1212, the 18 year old Lady Clare secretly left her home by night and made her way to the little Chapel of the Portiuncula. A daring plan was necessary if she was to leave behind a life of nobility to follow Francis and thus began a life “immersed in the poor and Crucified Christ,”(Bl. John Paul II). She set out on her journey just as the Church was beginning the commemoration of the Passion throughout the world. This Sunday (18th) marks the 800th Anniversary of St. Clare’s consecration to Jesus Christ. Clare had her hair shorn that Palm Sunday by her spiritual father and guide and was clothed in the tunic of the Lesser Brothers. Her unhindered generosity never wavered as she gave herself completely to “believing in the Gospel as Francis showed her”(Bl. John Paul II) thus blazing a path of sanctity that her daughters, the Poor Clares still strive to follow today. For Saint Clare and the many Poor Ladies that have preceded us, who gave themselves unreservedly to their Spouse, we give great thanks!! Living according to the Gospel never grows old! Christ never asks something that His grace does not supply … but doesn’t His asking so often surprise us?!
“What you hold, may you always hold. What you do, may you always do and never abandon. But with swift pace, light step, and unswerving feet,
so that even your steps stir up no dust,
go forward securely, joyfully and swiftly, on the path of prudent happiness,
believing nothing, agreeing with nothing which would dissuade you from this resolution
or which would place a stumbling block for you on the way,
so that you may offer your vows to the Most High (cf. Ps 49.14)
in pursuit of that perfection to which the Spirit of the Lord has called you.
” ~ St. Clare of Assisi
Pope Benedict’s Address on St. Clare: