Life of a Saint
Palm Sunday, the night of 18 March 1212, the young Chiara Offreduccio accompanied by Pacifica of Guelfuccio, escaped from a side door of his home, located near the cathedral of Assisi, San Ruffino and went secretly to the Porziuncola where Francis was waiting for her with his brothers who first welcomed him into their community. Francis cut her hair and gave her the rude habit of poverty and penance, with a rope around his waist and a veil on her head shaved. His desire to follow Christ the way of Francis had already been fulfilled at that time Clare was eighteen.
This was the epilogue, in fact, Clare and Francis had met regularly for two years during these meetings was guarded by Chiara Bona of Guelfuccio, while Francis was accompanied by Brother Philip, and all this time from Francis Clare received a light guide in the ways of the spirit, the result of those meetings was his decision to embrace a life according to the Gospel.
Clare tenaciously pursued his plan, even before any attempt to prevent her to pursue a life of absolute poverty, for its fidelity to the intentions of Francis, as he shared his ideals and even more because she had been called by God to follow these ideals. Even a cousin Clare, Rufino, had already joined the community to 1210 and became one of the most faithful companions of Francis. Clare was certainly aware of public dispute that Francis had had with his father in the presence of the bishop in 1206 and its total change of life and was fascinated.
However after being received into the Order, Clare was hosted for a short time at the Benedictine nuns. Evidently it was because she could not stand the Porziuncola and there was simply nowhere else to put it. Almost immediately he was joined by his sister Agnes. However it was not long and Clare begged Francis to allow her to leave the Benedictine and lead a life of true Franciscan. Thus, with the permission of the bishop, Francis settled her and her sister Agnes in the chapel of San Damiano, which he had rebuilt and where he heard the voice of the Crucified One in the spring of 1206, which commanded him: "Francis, repair my house , which is falling into ruin".
Celano describes the early days of Clare at San Damiano as follows: "A few days later, she went to the church of Sant'Angelo di Panzo. But since his soul was not there completely alone, on the advice of Blessed Francis finally returned to church of San Damiano in prison ... that little cloister Clare closed for the love of her husband in heaven. There she hid from the tumult of the world and imprisoned his body while he lived."
Not before 1215 Francis composed a special way of life for Clare and her companions, who were then increased to five. For those three years they follow the rule of life that Innocent III had approved for the friars in 1209.
Clare succeeded by Pope Innocent II and Pope Gregory IX the privilege of poverty, according to which the sisters were allowed to live in total poverty and that no one could compel them to accept goods of any kind. The houses of the Poor Clares were no donations, and this is the absolute poverty characteristic originality of their lives. Until then he had never heard that a monastery could live without property.
Santa Clara continued to live at San Damiano for more than forty years, Clare was initially reached here the other sister Beatrice and mother Ortolana later from other women and girls, and soon they were fifty. Clare wanted to create a family of poor cloistered, immersed in prayer for themselves and others. Popularly called "Damian" and Francis "Poor Women", will then be forever known as Poor Clares."
Clare continued steadfast in his loyalty to the ideals and teachings of St. Francis. He died on 11 August 1253 and was canonized two years later. Of all the followers of St. Francis, before and after her, no one ever loved and understood him and his evangelical vocation like Clare, who called himself the "small plant of the most holy father Francis."
In 1958 Pius XII proclaimed her patron of the Universal Television. On Christmas Day, served in the Mass by Francis, Clare was not there because he was in bed because of his disability. Wishing she participate in the celebration of Christmas, seemed to be a vision of the celebration.
The Saracens were at the gates of Assisi, and St. Damian were besieging. Clare took the monstrance and exposed him to the window. A glare frightened the convent and Saracens make them flee from Assisi.
Is honored today as St. Clare, the foundress of the Poor Clares, who live a cloistered life completely.