Thursday 15th November 2018

Home » saints » Currently Reading:

Catholic Heroes… St. Clare Of Montefalco

August 16, 2018 saints No Comments

By CAROLE BRESLIN

In central Italy about one hundred miles north of Rome, lies the peaceful town looking down on the Clitunno River named Montefalco. It attracts tourists with its wildlife, wineries, and vineyards, and stunning churches. One of the most beautiful churches with its vaulted, painted ceilings, marble pillars, and inspiring altars is the Basilica of St. Clare of Montefalco.
Clare came from a well-to-do family that lived simply, practicing their faith with careful attention to devotion and charitable works. The people of Umbria, where Montefalco is located, were known in that day for their ability to settle disputes rationally without recourse to either violence or litigation.
Her parents, Damiano and Iacopa Vengente, welcomed Clare in 1268. They had three other children who were taught to love prayer and meditation. In 1271 when Clare was only three years old, and her sister, Giovanna, was 20 years, Damiano built a hermitage for his daughters. Giovanna and her dear friend Andreola moved in and dedicated themselves to living a life of prayer and sacrifice.
Three years later, the young women won ecclesiastical approval and were able to receive new candidates into the hermitage. In 1274 at the grand age of only six years old — less than half the age of St. Therese of Lisieux when she joined the Carmelites — Clare joined also. She had already visited Giovanna and Andreola frequently and fully understood the requirements.
Her parents and the two women had served as motivating examples of growing in the love of God and the religious life. When Clare joined the women, they became part of the Third Order of St. Francis and she began wearing the Franciscan habit, though that order had not yet been formally approved by the Church.
Clare was vivacious, perceptive, sincere, and mature beyond her years. Although she was 17 years younger than her sister and her friend, she easily kept up with the standard set by them. She was a girl of deep prayer, spiritual maturity, enduring penance, and amazing mortifications that surpassed the practices of the founders.
She burned with an ever-increasing zeal for our Lord’s Passion and death. This love motivated her to offer her actions for love of her Savior. So outstanding were her sacrifices that it was easy to see that the Lord showered her with special graces to perform them.
Still, her growing body needed nourishment and Clare had a healthy appetite — particularly for her mother’s delicious preparations. Rather than indulging in the feasts, Clare used this opportunity to make great sacrifices for our Lord. Lent became a special time for her knowing the great penance it would be to refrain from such food and making even more stringent fasts than observed by the rest of the women in the hermitage.
The young girl was assiduous in maintaining obedience to her sister in all things, even though the new group had no formal rules. When she was reprimanded for breaking silence, Clare imposed a penance on herself: reciting the Our Father one hundred times as she stood in a bucket of cold water with her arms outstretched.
In 1278 another girl joined them, Mariana, a close friend of Clare. Then four more young women entered the house as well: Tommasa, Paola, Illuminata, and Agnese. This brought about a happy dilemma. With the members increasing so quickly, the hermitage was no longer adequate for them all.
After praying, fasting, and seeking advice, the ladies decided to move their household to a hill closer to the town. Damiano, along with Giovanna, set about planning and construction the new hermitage. However, before it was finished, Damiano died around 1281, so Clare lost her father when she was 13 years old.
In 1290 Giovanna applied to the bishop of Spoleto to establish more formal rules for their house. Thus the bishop established them under the rule of St. Augustine since the Third Order of Franciscans had not yet been approved. At long last Clare could make her vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience as an Augustinian nun.
Giovanna was elected the first abbess and the new monastery was dedicated. When she died on November 22, 1291, Clare was elected to succeed her as abbess. Even though she rejected the honor of the office, she did so as an act of obedience to the bishop of Spoleto.
Three years after her election, Clare made a general Confession before all the nuns on the Feast of the Epiphany 1294. She then fell into an ecstasy which lasted for three weeks. During that time Clare was unable to eat so the nuns sustained her by giving her sugar water.
When the ecstasy finally ended, she related to the nuns that she had seen herself standing before God in judgment. She also saw Jesus dressed as a poor traveler and had a vision of Him crushed by the weight of carrying the cross. During the vision she knelt before Him seeking to know where He was going. “I have looked all over the world for a strong place to plant this cross firmly, and I have not found any,” He replied.
When Clare reached for the cross to help carry it, He told her, “Clare, I have found a place for My Cross here. I have finally found someone to whom I can trust My Cross.” Then He planted it in her heart. For the rest of her life she joyfully endured much pain and suffering from this event.
Yet she continued to lead her nuns as abbess, teacher, spiritual director, and mother; and she continued to grow in holiness, drawing many visitors to the Monastery of the Holy Cross. Her otherworldliness did not hinder her in coping with the worldly issues of managing the convent and maintaining harmony in their daily affairs.
In 1303, she sponsored the building of a church in Montefalco, which also served as a chapel for the sisters. The cornerstone was blessed by the bishop on June 24, and the church was named the Church of the Holy Cross.
Five years later in August 1308, Clare had become so ill that she was completely bedridden. She received Extreme Unction on August 15, then the next day she asked her brother to come and see her. She made her final Confession on August 17, and died on August 18, with her funeral being held the same day.
The nuns who had lost their dear abbess sought to save a relic and had Clare’s heart removed for safekeeping. They were stunned to learn that the perfect form of Jesus Crucified, complete with the marks from the crown of thorns, the nails, and the lance, was inside the heart.
When news of this miracle reached Msgr. Berengario, he sent men of science and civil authorities to investigate the claims. Some of these men looked forward to discounting the occurrence, but after they examined the evidence they, too, were convinced it could not be explained by natural causes.
During the process of Clare’s canonization, the Franciscans argued that she should be canonized as a Franciscan, but she was canonized by Pope Leo XIII as an Augustinian. Her feast is celebrated on August 17.
Dear St. Clare, in whose heart our Lord planted His cross, obtain for us the joy in bearing the cross of Jesus for the love of Him who died for us. Amen.

+ + +

(Carole Breslin home-schooled her four daughters and served as treasurer of the Michigan Catholic Home Educators for eight years. For over ten years, she was national coordinator for the Marian Catechists, founded by Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ.)

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Having watched the first session of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops General Meeting, and that fact that the Pope has ordered them not vote on any action items, I have to ask, what is the point of this meeting? What is the point of National Bishops' Conferences?

Load More...

US bishops consider asking Pope Francis to release McCarrick documents

BALTIMORE, Maryland, November 13, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will consider officially asking Pope Francis to release any documents related to alleged serial sexual abuser Archbishop Theodore McCarrick. The motion was made from the…Continue Reading

U.S. Catholic Bishops Meet in the Shadow, Still, of Clergy Sex Abuse

This weekend, the Catholic bishops of the United States gather in Baltimore ahead of their three-day annual general assembly, which opens Monday. By coincidence, it will be 16 years exactly since their session in 2002, when they met to amend…Continue Reading

The Synodal Church

Antonio Spadaro, SJ – Carlos Galli Forty years ago, Jesuit Father Arij Roest Crollius wrote: “What is so new about inculturation?”[1] His reflection was a milestone in the understanding of that word and in welcoming a concept at the heart of…Continue Reading

National network of Catholic church leaders told to preserve all communications

The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has asked the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to preserve all electronic and paper documents in case other federal prosecutors need to look into accusations of sexual assault against current…Continue Reading

Cdl. Burke ‘strongly’ endorses new virtue education program for young people

October 26, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Raymond Burke, one of the Church’s most outspoken defenders of life, marriage, and family, has “strongly” endorsed a new virtue education program for children. “Alive to the World” is a continuous, story-based virtues/values program. Much…Continue Reading

Pittsburgh wants to revoke Chick-fil-A’s sponsorship of kids event over Christian marriage views

PITTSBURGH, October 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – America’s most successful Christian food chain may be driven out of a children’s community event in Pittsburgh over the owners’ Christian-based view of marriage and homosexuality, if the Pittsburgh City Council has its way.…Continue Reading

Australian bishop touts women’s ordination: ‘transformation of priesthood’ is underway

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand, October 23, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – An Australian bishop recently told priests that admitting women to the priesthood in the Church’s current state of affairs would be like pouring new wine into old wine skins, but that a “transformation…Continue Reading

Twitter locks LifeSite out of account for ‘hate’: fact-based post on rise in gay STDs

October 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Twitter has just locked LifeSiteNews out of our Twitter account over an article we posted four years ago that provided expert analysis on the rise in sexually-transmitted diseases among homosexuals. The 2014 piece by Dr. Gerard M.…Continue Reading

Ave Maria U president who criticized Cdl. Burke, Archbishop Viganò announces resignation

AVE MARIA, Florida, October 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Just six weeks after he issued a statement criticizing Vatican whistleblower Archbishop Carlo Vigano, Ave Maria University (AMU) announced its president Jim Towey will step down in June 2020. Vigano’s 11-page testimony…Continue Reading

‘Just glad we ruined Kavanaugh’s life’: Pro-abortion Left responds to Supreme Court defeat

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Judge Brett Kavanaugh is now Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and the left-wing forces who pulled out all the stops to defeat him show no signs of cooling down anytime soon. The Senate voted 50-48 on…Continue Reading

Pope selects youth from pro-gay Vatican consultant’s media org to attend Synod

October 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The four young people from Canada now at the Vatican synod on youth are all from Salt and Light Media. The Toronto-based media outlet is run by Basilian Fr. Thomas Rosica, who is also on…Continue Reading

Youth Synod Archbishop apologizes to young Catholics for sex abuse, ‘unbeautiful liturgies’

ROME, October 4, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney, Australia, has issued an extensive mea culpa at the Vatican Youth Synod for all the ways in which the hierarchy and members of the Church have failed young people — whether…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

Abp. Viganò urges U.S. bishops to confront sex abuse as ‘courageous shepherds’

ROME, November 13, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò today has issued a brief note to the U.S. Bishops, urging them to confront sex abuse as “courageous shepherds” rather than “frightened sheep.” The U.S. Bishops are currently in Baltimore at their much-anticipated fall annual meeting at which they were expected to vote on concrete proposals to hold bishops accountable for their failures after the reve

Pope Francis . . . “First, there is the immense and ongoing crisis of climate change and the nuclear menace”

ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS TO PARTICIPANTS IN THE PLENARY SESSION OF THE PONTIFICAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES Consistory Hall Monday, 12 November 2018 [Multimedia]   Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I am pleased to meet the full complement of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. I offer cordial welcome to the new Members and I am grateful to the former President, Professor Werner Arber for his gracious words of introduction, while I pray that Professor Joachim von…Continue Reading

Vatican orders U.S. bishops to halt plans for vote on sex-abuse reforms

BALTIMORE – The first gathering of the nation’s Catholic bishops since a summer wave of anger and recrimination over clergy sex abuse in the American church opened Monday with a stunning announcement: The prelates would not vote on a series of new accountability measures – and it was the Vatican who ordered them to hold off.

Our Veterans Fought and Died For Our Freedom, Not for Abortion

(Reprinted from 2013) In the early morning hours of June 6, 1944, thirty men from the small town of Bedford, Virginia, huddled close together in landing craft churning through the dark waters of the English Channel on a mission unlike any other the world had ever known. Their destination: a strip of sand known as Omaha Beach in Normandy, France. Most of the thoughts running through the minds of these young men are lost to…Continue Reading

US bishops’ Catholic Campaign for Human Development continues to fund pro-abortion, pro-LGBT groups

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Grants from the U.S. Bishops’ domestic anti-poverty arm are again benefitting groups associated with support for abortion and open homosexuality, new reports from the Lepanto Institute say. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) encourages Catholics to support its Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), which it says helps those on the margins. Yet in the last several years, roughly half a million dollars, much of which…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

Conflicting Rights In A Divided Nation

By LAWRENCE P. GRAYSON The Senate Judiciary hearings to confirm Brett Kavanaugh as an associate justice of the Supreme Court were brutal to his personal reputation, devastating to the comity of the congressional body, and inflammatory in an already divided nation. Protesters shouted in the hearing room, had sit-ins in the hall, accosted a senator…Continue Reading

The Paradox Of The Person

By DONALD DeMARCO The first law of nature is self-preservation. The highest law of morality is self-sacrifice. What the content these two sentences makes abundantly clear is that the life of the human being is one of perpetual tension. Self-preservation and self-sacrifice are not exactly on the same page. However, it is important to note…Continue Reading

Mass Migration: Mortal Threat To Red State America

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Among the reasons Donald Trump is president is that his natural political instincts are superior to those of any other current figure. As campaign 2018 entered its final week, Trump seized upon and elevated the single issue that most energizes his populist base and most convulses our media elite. Warning of…Continue Reading

Shawnee State . . . Professors Must Speak Contrary To Their Beliefs Or Be Punished

CINCINNATI — Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a federal lawsuit against Shawnee State University officials Monday, November 5 on behalf of a professor that the university punished because he declined a male student’s demand to be referred to as a woman, with feminine titles and pronouns (“Miss,” “she,” etc.). Although philosophy professor Dr. Nicholas Meriwether…Continue Reading

Trump Administration… Announces New Conscience Exemptions For HHS Mandate

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CNA) — The Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury, and Labor released two updated rules concerning conscience protections for organizations and individuals in relation to the HHS contraception mandate. Under the new rules, organizations and individuals objecting to the controversial mandate’s provisions on either religious or moral grounds will be exempt. According…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Road To Hell Is Paved With Indifference

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope is the pastor of Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian, Washington, D.C. Monsignor kindly gave The Wanderer permission to reprint this essay from his blog, which appeared there on November 5, 2018. All rights reserved.) + + + The Gospel for Tuesday of the 31st Week features the Lucan version of the parable about…Continue Reading

Shine Brightly Like The Stars

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Thirty-Third Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Daniel 12:1-3 Heb. 10:11-14, 18 Mark 13:24-32 In the Gospel reading today our Lord teaches us about what will happen at the end of the world: The sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, the stars will be falling from the sky, and the…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Life Is Beautiful With Final Judgment In View

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The prospect of final judgment brings negative impressions, images, or emotions to mind for many. Sometimes it also does so for some who claim our Catholic faith. As a step along the way to spiritual maturity, we must often be purged of our childish or worldly impressions. With an authentic and deeper faith, the prospect…Continue Reading

The Sacrament Of Holy Orders… More On Women Priests — Why Not?

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA Part 4 The participation of women in the life of the Catholic Church over the centuries has been remarkable. Without being priests, women have played a major role in the instruction of the faithful, service of the sick and needy, and the works of the apostolate. The work of spreading the Gospel, as early as in…Continue Reading

Humility — Foundation Of The Spiritual Life

By DON FIER As has been demonstrated over the past two weeks, temperance is the cardinal virtue that “moderates the attraction of pleasures, assures the mastery of the will over instincts, and provides balance in the use of created goods” (Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 383). Although most often associated with man’s innate appetitive drives to…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Elizabeth Of The Trinity

By CAROLE BRESLIN When a woman receives the Carmelite habit, she also receives a new name. St. Teresa of Avila received the name “of Jesus” and St. Therese of Lisieux received the name “of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face.” Likewise, when Elizabeth Catez became a Carmelite and received her name, she was given the title “of the Trinity,”…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Catherine Of Alexandria

By CAROLE BRESLIN The list of saints is long, and includes both men and women from all walks of life and from all disciplines. For some saints, there is a plenitude of documents and accounts of their lives from which we can draw much information. For most of the saints from the early centuries of the Church, however, there is…Continue Reading