By Andrew Macek ‘16
St. Clare was born into a wealthy family in Assisi, Italy in 1193. Her mother was a devout woman who later in life would follow her daughter into the religious life. Throughout Clare's childhood she was religious. She was diligent in her prayer and always looked to grow spiritually. St. Clare decided she wanted to completely give herself to God. She decided to give up material goods and riches in order to follow Jesus Christ when she was 18 years old. She realized this when she was listening to a homily by Saint Francis of Assisi.
Francis was preaching in the Cathedral and his words reached her heart. Clare decided she would tell Francis she would not be stopped from joining him. In the middle of the night, she snuck out of Assisi and was received by Francis into the Order. She took sanctuary in a Benedictine monastery and when her family sought to force her to return home they saw that she had been received into the Francsican Order and now belonged fully to Christ. Eventually, she moved into the Church of St. Damiano which was the same Church where Francis heard his call to rebuild the church.
Saint Clare played a major role in the foundation of the Franciscan movement. Saint Clare was a leader and guide to the other Poor Sisters of Saint Damiano or the “Poor Clares,” having the traits of a Mother to her daughters. In this way she had responded to the call of the Lord. Even when others had felt she had done all in her power to help the less fortunate she still cried thinking she had not used her ability to the highest degree. She would also donate all she had to others who needed it more than her because of her love for others and for God. She was always setting a great example to her sisters in her life of prayer, poverty and sacrifice for others.
This story of the calling of Saint Clare is important to me because it reminds us that everyone has a calling. St. Clare teaches us how to sacrifice for the less fortunate. St. Clare responds to God's call and does as Jesus says you should do to follow him. She is a true example of dropping everything and taking up one's cross to follow Jesus. The example of St. Clare provides a model for all people about how to be a disciple even when it may be difficult or others might not understand.