Franciscan Reflection:  Francis and Clare

Curley's distinctive difference is its Franciscan inspiration and approach. Planted by the Friars, the Franciscan spirit has grown over half a century to be the hallmark of a Curley education. Each month we will highlight a part of Curley's Franciscan heritage as seen through the heart and words of a student.

St. Francis and St. Clare

by James Duffy ’17

     One of the most important parts of  St. Francis’ life that I admire is his relationship with St. Clare. Clare is another saint from Assisi and she was one of Francis' most faithful followers. In a time of distress, Clare came to Francis for help and he took her under his wing and helped her grow in her faith.

     Clare met Francis when she was 17 though she was 12 years younger than him. Clare came from wealth and was beautiful, which made her desired as a bride. That was, however, not the life Clare wanted and when she heard Francis preach she wanted to follow him as a friar! Her plan to escape was realized at midnight on Palm Sunday. Clare snuck out of the well-fortified town and was greeted by Francis and the friars. They brought her to a monastery for sanctuary, and she was received into the fraternity. This was the happiest Clare had ever been.

     Clare’s father was not happy.  He tried to force her to leave but he was unsuccessful.  Francis eventually brought Clare and the other women who wanted to join her to the rebuilt church of San Damiano. Eventually Clare’s sister and mother joined her there! The church and house with it were turned into a convent for Clare and her faithful sisters. They became known as the Order of the Poor Ladies. Francis and the friars would travel all over the world and preach the Gospel, while Clare and the sisters stayed at the monastery and prayed for the friars and the world. Francis and the friars continued to provide food and spiritual nourishment to the sisters.

     The relationship between St. Francis and St. Clare means a lot to me. I can take many things from them. I’m reminded about helping my neighbors. I feel a connection to this because not only have I given help to those who need it, but I constantly receive help from those around me - at home, at school, in public, just about everywhere. To me, it makes a world of difference. I feel a connection to Clare in her love and thankfulness for Francis and the help he gave her. St. Francis gives me the example of caring for those around me. I also took the importance of putting God first, respecting those around me, and reaching out to the marginalized. This story personally has meaning to me because it not only gives me examples to follow but also things to be thankful for.

     St. Clare's feastday is August 11th.

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