Saint Clare of Assisi
Following the example of St. Francis, St. Clare also chose to embrace a life of poverty. She was born Chiara di Favarone in 1193 in Assisi, Italy. Her family was one of the wealthiest in Assisi and lived right next to the cathedral. She had pretty dresses and servants to fix her beautiful hair. From a young age, though, Clare loved Jesus and wanted to serve him. She was expected to marry well, but after she heard the preaching of St. Francis, she decided to give her life to Jesus as His bride. At age 18, she escaped from her family home to live a life of poverty, like Francis. She started an order called ‘the Poor Ladies’ and lived on only what she and her sisters could beg from people. Her sister, Agnes, and her mother also joined the order. St. Clare had great devotion to the Eucharist and loved to pray in silence. She even received a vision of the Mass one Christmas Eve when she was too sick to leave her bed. St. Clare lived in San Damiano, the first church that Francis repaired, with the sisters in her order. She died in 1253 and her feast day is August 11.