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Saint Clare

St. Clare of Assisi

Born: July 16, 1194

Died: August 11, 1253

Canonized: September 26, 1255, by Pope Alexander IV

Feast Day: August 11

Patron Saint of: embroiderers, eye disorders, television

Clare Offreduccio came from a wealthy family, but was fascinated by a man of poverty, Francis of Assisi. Against her family's wishes, she left the life of prosperity for one of poverty, owning only rags to wear. Because Francis had not yet established a women's' convent, Clare was sent to a Benedictine convent near Bastia. Francis later established the first community for women in 1215 and appointed Clare as abbess. Clare was later joined by one of her sisters, Agnes, as a Franciscan nun, followed shortly thereafter by her widowed mother and other women previously of well-to-do families. The women of this order were known for their absolute poverty and penitential sufferings. Owning nothing of earthly value, they totally abstained from eating meat and wore neither stockings nor shoes. Some even followed Clare's example by wearing clothes made from human hair which was a constant discomfort. The order she established was later to become known as "The Poor Clares."

One day, when she was near death and was unable to attend a Chapel Mass, Clare turned in the direction of the Chapel. There, suddenly, the wall between her and Chapel vanished and she was able to both view the Mass and participate. For this reason, she is the patroness of TV.