Saturday, August 11, 2012

This Day in History August 11, 1253

This depiction of St.Clare of Assisi is said to be the only one left in England.

  © Copyright nick macneill and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Today we step back into church history.  I had never heard of Clare of Assisi, and on this date in 1253, she died.  She was amongst the first followers of St. Francis of Assisi.  She also was the founder of the Order of the Poor Ladies, and she also wrote the Rule of Life, the first monastic rule known to have been written by a woman.  Her order is now called "Poor Clares."

She was born in Assisi, Italy July 16, 1194, and the was the eldest daughter of an extremely devout mother (who later joined her order).  She was a girl devoted to prayer from the beginning, and it was St. Francis of Assisi's preaching that she heard at the age of 18 that drew her away from marrying a rich man that her parents had selected for her. He was the one who told her she was chosen of God, and she left home to follow him.  She and her sister joined a ladies religious group, and they were referred to as the "Poor Ladies."

As an interesting side note, in 1958, she was proclaimed the patron saint of television.  Why? There is a legend that states she once saw and heard a mass being performed miles away.

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