DAY THREE – AUGUST 4
The Prayer of Saint Clare of Assisi
“Pray and be always vigilant. And the work that you began well, finish and the ministry you assumed, fulfill in holy poverty and sincere humility. Do not fear, daughter, God is faithful in all his words and holy in all his works, he will pour out his blessing on you and your daughters; and he will be your helper and your best consoler; he is our redeemer and our eternal reward.” (Saint Clare)
I pray you, O most gentle Jesus, having redeemed me by baptism from original sin, so now by your Precious Blood, which is offered and received throughout the world, deliver me from all evils, past, present and to come.
By your most cruel death give me lively faith, a firm hope perfect charity, so that I may love you with all my heart and all my soul and all my strength. Make me firm and steadfast in good works and grant me perseverance in your service so that I may be able to please you always. Amen.
Saint Clare – A Touch of Kindness
Because Saint Clare was born over 800 years ago, it sometimes seems hard to relate to her in the 21st century. Cold, drafty castles, knights in shining armor, dragons, and gargoyles and all sorts of medieval trappings wrap her in a cloud of unreality. It sometimes, or at least to me – seems hard to think of her as a real person, doing ordinary things, with her sisters who were also ordinary.
But God has always used ordinary people to do great things, and so it is true with Clare. Perhaps one of the best ways to find a common bondage with Clare is to look at how she lived among her sisters. How she related to them and they to her. Who is that quietly stepping down a dark hallway with a blanket to cover a sister shivering and quietly crying in bed, unable to sleep because of the cold? Who is that carefully setting a basin of water on the floor so as to wash the tired, cracked and bleeding feet of a sister returning from begging? Fourteen times in the canonization process we find Clare obtaining miracles of healing for her sisters.
Kindness is a virtue that is not often extolled as being among the holiest of virtues, but in truth it is one of the greatest. Clare was kind. This kindness nurtured and blossomed in the monastery, spilled like an overflowing stream into the world. Because of her care and concern for others she was drawn always to pray and it was her prayers that brought much grace into a darkened world. I am sure there are hundreds of cures that Clare obtained that have never been recorded in her life time and thousands afterwards – but the ones that are recorded, 14 healings among her sisters, and many others from the area surrounding are all touched with a simple virtue of kindness. She was kind because she loved, and because she loved she was able to obtain many blessings from God for others.
Marco Bartoli in his wonderful book, ‘Clare of Assisi’ states that over half of the miracles of healings that Clare obtained were for children. It is said that how we treat the young and the old, the poor and the infirm is a true measure of our greatness. Saint Clare was and is truly a great woman, not because she climbed lofty mountains or sailed stormy seas, but because all she met, whether in her heart or in her prayers – she met with kindness. Do not hesitate to ask St. Clare for help in any need, big or small, she will hold each one tenderly in her heart and present them as she always has to Our Blessed Mother and her most Holy Son.
Prayer to Saint Clare of Assisi
O seraphic Saint Clare, first woman to become a disciple of the Poor Man of Assisi, you left riches and honors for a life of sacrifice and extreme poverty, obtain for us from God, we implore you, the favor we seek (mention your intention); and may we always humbly accept whatever He wills for us, completely confiding in the loving providence of our Heavenly Father.
O Seraphic Saint Clare, who, although living apart from the world, did not forget the poor and afflicted, but showed a motherly solicitude for them by sacrificing your own wealth and working many miracles in their behalf, obtain for us from God, we implore you, the favor we seek, (mention your intention); and may we also, as becomes true followers of Christ, charitably help our brothers and sisters in all their necessities, whether of soul or body.
O Seraphic Saint Clare, shining light of Italy, which you did prevent from being overrun and devastated by barbarians, obtain for us from God, we implore you, the favor we seek, (mention your intention); and may we with His help overcome the snares of a world having neither faith nor morals, maintaining in our homes true Christian peace, together with a salutary fear of God and a true devotion to the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.
The Blessing of Saint Clare of Assisi
May Almighty God bless You!
May He look with kindness upon you with the eyes of his mercy,
and give you his peace –
May he pour forth his graces on you abundantly and in heaven –
may He place you among his saints.