The Secular Franciscans at the Jersey Shore are inviting the faithful to join them in St. Peter Parish, Point Pleasant Beach, Aug. 19 as they celebrate the conclusion of the year-long 800th anniversary of the Consecration and Profession of St. Clare of Assisi.
The commemoration will begin at noon with Mass, followed by a visit to a recreation of “Clare’s convent” next door in lower Kolbe Hall where a repast of foods of her time will be served. Time will be set aside for Eucharistic adoration, spiritual presentations on Clare, quiet prayer, the Liturgy of the Hours and Benediction.
Fondly known as “the Little Plant” of St. Francis, St. Clare was one of the first followers of the beloved saint and founded the Order of Poor Ladies – later known as the Poor Clares – a monastic religious order in the Franciscan tradition for women.
A noblewoman who renounced worldly ways in order to follow Francis’ teachings, Clare wrote her order’s Rule of Life – the first monastic rule known to have been written by a woman. As an abbess, she sought to imitate Francis’ virtues and way of life so much that she was sometimes called alter Franciscus – another Francis.
She also played a significant role in encouraging and aiding Francis, whom she regarded as a spiritual father. She took care of him during his illnesses at the end of his life until his death in 1226. After his death, she promoted the growth of her order, writing letters to abbesses in other parts of Europe and thwarting every attempt to water down the radical commitment she had made to a life of poverty.
Canonized in 1255, two years after her death, she was designated as the patron saint of television by Pope Pius XII in 1958 on the basis that when she was too ill to attend Mass, she was reportedly able to see it and hear it on the wall of her room.[[In-content Ad]]