St. Clare of Assisi

In the last several articles we have described the brothers who gathered around Francis and committed themselves to his way of following Christ. Two of the earliest arrivals were Leo and Rufino.  The first became Francis’ chaplain and confessor, as Leo was an ordained priest already. Rufino, a lifelong confidant and wisdom figure for Francis, was also the first cousin of an aristocratic woman of Assisi, the niece of Monaldo, lord of Coriano.  Clare di Favarone di Offredicio was a woman from the very class of landed aristocrats that the young Francis had imitated and longed to join socially. Continue reading

Clare of Assisi – audaciously following Christ

August 11th is the Feast of St. Clare of Assisi – in many ways considered a “second founder” of the Franciscan orders of men and women because of the influence her life, example, and spirituality have upon the religious orders of men and women that carry the name “Franciscan.” In honor of these celebrations, let us look at The Legend of St. Clare (1255) in which we read of Clare’s decision to follow Francis’ way of life.

“The Solemnity of the Day of Palms was at hand when the young girl went with a fervent heart to the man of God, asking [him] about her conversion and how it should be carried out.  The father Francis told her that on the day of the feast, she should go, dressed and adorned, together with the crowd of people, to [receive] a palm, and, on the following night, leaving the camp she should turn her worldly joy into mourning the Lord’s passion. Continue reading

Francis of Assisi: the Conversion of Clare

St. Clare of Assisi

In the last several articles we have described the brothers who gathered around Francis and committed themselves to his way of following Christ. Two of the earliest arrivals were Leo and Rufino.  The first became Francis’ chaplain and confessor, as Leo was an ordained priest already. Rufino, a lifelong confidant and wisdom figure for Francis, was also the first cousin of an aristocratic woman of Assisi, the niece of Monaldo, lord of Coriano.  Clare di Favarone di Offredicio was a woman from the very class of landed aristocrats that the young Francis had imitated and longed to join socially. Continue reading