Today the church remembers Clare, Abbess at Assisi, 1253.Clare, the daughter of a noble Italian family, was very deeply touched by the teaching of Francis of Assisi. She refused two proffered marriages and at age eighteen joined a convent of Benedictine nuns. Later, her sister, and finally her widowed mother, joined her in this convent. Then, with the help of Francis himself, these three founded the first Franciscan community for women. It was located at St. Damian"s Church in Assisi. The community grew and flourished. There the “Poor Ladies,” or “Poor Clares” as they came to be called, observed the same strict rules of poverty, humility, and devotion that the male Franciscans observed. Filled with evangelical fervor and compassion for the souls of their flock, Clare became a model abbess. For forty years she wisely and firmly led the community and oversaw the founding of similar communities throughout Europe. Clare personified the Franciscan ideal of renunciation for Christ"s sake. O God of mercy, enlighten the hearts of your faithful people, and grant us, after the example of your servant Clare, not to mind earthly things, but to love things heavenly; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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O God, whose blessed Son became poor that we through his poverty might be rich: Deliver us from an inordinate love of this world, that we, inspired by the devotion of your servant Clare, may serve you with singleness of heart, and attain to the riches of the age to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.