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St. Clare of Assisi
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Religious Figure
    (July 16, 1194-August 11, 1253)
    Born in Assisi, Italy
    Birth name was Chiara Offreduccio
    Founded the Order of Poor Ladies
    Renamed in her honor as the Order of St. Clare, often referred to as the Poor Clares
    Canonized by Pope Alexander IV (1255)
    She ran away from home to follow St. Francis of Assisi.
    Francis shaved her head into a monk's tonsure and dressed her in a brown friar's cloak.
    Several popes tried to get her to modify the strict rules of her order, on the theory that owning nothing and subsisting on alms may be alright for men, like the Franciscans, but it was a bit much for women.
    Sometimes, she would go days without food unless the Bishop of Assisi ordered her to eat.
    She was one of the candidates to be named patron saint of the internet, but lost out to St. Isidore of Seville.
    Her mother, two sisters and an aunt joined her order.
    She cared for St. Francis during his final illness.
    When the army of Emperor Frederick II was about to attack Assisi, she rose from her sickbed, knelt in prayer at an open window and displayed the Sacrament, at which point the soldiers fell back (1234).
    She said of critics of her order's austerity, 'They say we are too poor, but can a heart that possesses the infinite God be truly called poor?'
    She was canonized rapidly, only two years and a month after her death.
    Pope Pius XII named her the patron saint of television (1958), because when she had been too ill to attend Mass, an image of the service would display on the cloister wall.

Credit: C. Fishel


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