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St. Clare (August 11)

St. Clare was born at Assisi, Italy in 1193. When she was eighteen, St. Francis was preaching in Assisi and his words greatly inspired her. In 1212, on Palm Sunday, she ran away from home and went to Portiuncula, where Francis lived. He met her at the chapel of Our Lady of the Angels, cut off her hair, and gave her a sackcloth held together by a cord. She went to live in the Benedictine convent at St. Paul near Bastia.

Her family greatly objected, but their objections fell on deaf ears.  Clare moved to a convent in Sant'Angelo di Panzo and was joined by her sister who was 15.  In 1215, Clare, along with her sister, mother, and other companions, went to live in a convent associated with the Church of San Damiano, outside Assisi. There, she was appointed superior of the congregation by St. Francis - beginning what we know, today, as the "Poor Clares."

The Poor Clares adopted a sever life of poverty, silence and austerity. They did not own any property and existed solely on donations. She died at the convent of San Damiano in 1253.