Celebrating Saint Clare

St. Clare (artist unknown)
Today we celebrate the Feast of St. Clare. As part of  my ministry in the Office for Religious in the Archdiocese I have the opportunity and privilege to visit the monasteries of enclosed nuns, of which we have 7 in our Diocese. Yesterday evening I had the blessing of celebrating the Transitus of Holy Mother Clare with Evening Prayer and Benediction, followed by some light refreshments with the Poor Clare Sisters here in Dublin. As thousands gathered across the road for the Dublin Horse Show, the chants of the psalms rose up to God amidst commentators calling horses into the showground and commentating the jumps. In a way this was fitting, because just as St. Theresa found God 'among the pots and pans', so too we were recollected in prayer as life went on around us. The little oasis of prayer and solitude is a stop-off point for many people who entrust themselves and their families, especially in times of difficulty, to the prayers of the nuns. There is a poignant moment at the end of the Vespers where the Mother Prioress prays the blessing of St. Clare over those present. The prayer concludes as so: "I bless you in my life and after my death as much as I can and more than I can with all the blessings with which the Father of mercies has and will have blessed his sons and daughters in heaven and on earth. Always be lovers of God and your souls and the souls of your Sisters, and always be eager to observe what you have promised the Lord. May the Lord be with you always, and, wherever you are, may you be with Him always. Amen."

Vision of St. Clare
Artist: Sr. M. Angelica Ballan, pddm
The spiritual rule of St Clare calls for penitential austerity lived in joy and it is heartening to see this group of elderly sisters so content in being spiritual children of St. Clare today and being faithful to the rule with simplicity and generosity. The images here I would like to share with you is from an artistic depiction called 'The vision of St. Clare' where she saw the Holy Family in a beautiful vision. The artist is our own sister, Sr. M. Angelica Ballan, pddm. Those of you who frequent our Liturgical Centres may have seen the posters and the Christmas cards with this depiction.

Did you know that St Clare was declared patron of television? Why, you may ask??? One Christmas Eve, Clare was so sick that she could not get out of bed even to go to Mass. While the other sisters were on their way to Mass, she stayed in bed praying so she could take part in the Mass with her prayer. Just then, the Lord granted her a miraculous vision, and she was able to see the celebration, even though she was far away from where it was happening, as if it were taking place right in her own bedroom. In 1958, when Pope Pius XII was trying to find a saint to name as patron for the marvelous new invention called 'Television', he recalled this incident in the life of St. Clare. Since “television” is Greek for “vision from afar”, Clare was chosen as its patroness.

Vision of St. Clare
Artist: Sr. M. Angelica Ballan, pddm
This fact is very interesting for us as Pauline Family who are called to pray and intercede for the different forms of social communications and to promote their use in a wholesome and holy way. So even back in the 12th century, we have  a saint who is linked with social media! We are reminded that the name 'Clare' means light. By the holiness of her life and the depth of her love for Christ, Saint Claire is a mirror in which we see the light of his face.  Happy feastday especially to all the Clares, Claires, Ciaras, Chiara, Klaras, Claras, Clarissas!

Comments

  1. I ofteh thought of the Pauline connection with media and St Clare being connected to that in some way. She was, of course a Franciscan, but yes, it's a connection for sure.

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