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Today we remember St. Clare of Assisi. Clare was born into a wealthy Italian family. At age 18 she heard St. Francis of Assisi preach on the poverty of Christ. Her heart was touched and she renounced all worldly possessions in order to serve her Lord and Saviour by living a life of poverty. With the help of Francis, Clare established the first Franciscan community for women in a small house beside the Church of San Damiano in Assisi. She composed a Rule of Life for the community who devoted themselves to prayer, meditation, and austerity. At their gate beggars and poverty-stricken families of Assisi received help and comfort from the Poor Ladies of San Damiano, the poor Clares.

Clare lived as she taught. Through years of poor health she cared for the spiritual welfare of her sisters and the people of Assisi. She was a source of strength to people inside and outside the convent. Within two years of her death on 11 August 1253, Clare of Assisi was canonized by Pope Alexander IV.

As St. Clare embraced the poverty of Christ, may we cleanse our hands from greed and our hearts from fear as we look forward to the gift eternal life with Christ.

Bible Reading: Psalm 63:1-8; Luke 12:32-37