Saint Clare of Assisi is best known for her close friendship with St. Francis of Assisi and stopping an army by only holding the holy Eucharist in the convent’s monstrance.
She was the first woman to practice the life of entire poverty as taught by St. Francis. Her rule for the Poor Clares at San Damiano included the austeries of going barefoot, sleeping on the ground and keeping perpetual poverty. St. Clare did on Aug. 11, 1253 after governing her community for 42 years.
It is saving Assisi and her convent from an army of Saracens that is her most famous story. She was also bedridden when she asked to be carried to the front entrance of her convent to defend it.
In her hand she carried a monstrance containing the blessed Eucharist. Her prayer worked a miracle.
“O Lord, do not deliver over to beasts the souls that praise You! (Ps. 73). Protect Your servants, for You have redeemed them by Your precious Blood. ”
As she prayed the army of men heard a voice say, “Always will I protect you!”
It frightened them so badly that the Saracens took to flight.
St. Clare was heroic in suffering as she was sick for 27 years. Thomas of Celano, one of St. Francis’ first followers coined the beautiful saying for her: Clara nomine, vita clarior, clarissima moribus.
It means: Clear in name, Clear in life, Clear in character. One of the most fitting explanations of her holy life!