Preparing for Pilgrimage, Renewing our Devotion
As the Assisi Project prepares for our 11th Annual Fall Pilgrimage to Assisi, it seems like a good time to renew our devotion to Saint Clare of Assisi. Saint Clare (1194-1253) is venerated as patroness of eye diseases, good weather, homemakers, knitters and needle workers, and television. But Clare is perhaps best known as the closest follower and dearest friend of Saint Francis of Assisi. More than eight centuries ago, she founded the “Poor Ladies of San Damiano” which is now known colloquially as the Poor Clares. And perhaps more than any other Franciscan, Clare most faithfully lived the gospel life of prayer, fellowship, simplicity, and service.
Although Saint Clare lived all of her post-conversion life within the confines of a cloister, she was a person of great courage, faith, and perseverance. When mercenary soldiers attempted to breach the walls of her convent, she confronted them with the Blessed Sacrament and they retreated. When a bishop asked her to compromise her principles and accept gifts of property and riches, Clare declined and said: “I must be absolved from my sins, but not from my obligation to follow the Poor Christ.” And when a pope refused to approve her strict rule of life, she declined to die until the rule was approved. Just two days after it was finally given papal authorization, she quietly and contentedly passed away.
Many centuries later, we can still call on Saint Clare to pray for us, for our Church, and for our troubled world during times of adversity, scandal, and uncertainty. The following prayer was written years ago by an anonymous Poor Clare in Jamaica Plain. It speaks beautifully to the remarkable soul who cast aside the spirit of the world in order to faithfully live the adventure of the gospel. This weekend, let us join our hearts and voices as we pray:
ardent lover of Jesus
in the Most Blessed Sacrament,
help us to grow in love
for Christ Jesus, our Redeemer.
With your strong faith and unwavering hope,
gather our wounded Church,
our suffering world,
and all people
into your loving heart and lift us up to Jesus
with your absolute confidence in his merciful love.
Saint Clare, help us to be like you:
peaceful, kind, gentle,
strong, patient, and persevering
in the face of all difficulties.
Trusting in your powerful intercession,
we confidently praise and thank God, our Father,
for all of the blessings we have received.
Glory, praise, wisdom, and thanksgiving,
honor, power, and might to our God
for ever and ever. Amen.
May the powerful intercession of Saint Clare of Assisi bring us closer to Christ and to the Church. May her prayers comfort us, empower us, and protect us as we strive to live the Gospel of Christ. Saint Clare of Assisi, pray for us! May the Lord give you peace!
The Assisi Project
Saturday Morning with Saint Francis
Saturday, October 27th
Founded in 2007 by Father Jim and Cliff Garvey after their first pilgrimage to Assisi and Rome, the Assisi Project is a Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit with friends and followers in the United States, Canada, Africa, and Europe. Our mission is to help adults of all ages more faithfully live the Gospel of Christ and grow closer to the Church through the inspiration and intercession of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi.
The Assisi Project meets on the last Saturday of every month in Saint Ann Church for Mass, formation, fellowship, and faith sharing. Our next “Saturday Morning with Saint Francis” is October 27th beginning at 8:00am. This month, we will continue our reading and reflection on the saints, including Saint Padre Pio and Saint Pope John XXIII. All fellow parishioners are invited to join the Assisi Project! You do not need to travel with us to Assisi to be a member of the Assisi Project!
Members of our fellowship all around the world, who range in age from 16 to 93, also pray for those who ask for our prayers. If you would like to join us or if you would like us to pray for your special intention, please contact Cliff at firstname.lastname@example.org. Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us! Saint Clare of Assisi, pray for us! Our Lady of Angels, pray for us! All are invited! All are welcome! May the Lord give you peace!
Founded in 2007, the Assisi Project is a Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit with members, friends, and followers in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Africa. We are dedicated to helping Christian believers of all ages to more faithfully live the Gospel of Christ in the spirit of Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi. For more information about the Assisi Project and upcoming opportunities for faith formation, prayer, and pilgrimage in the Franciscan spiritual tradition, please contact Cliff Garvey at email@example.com. May the Lord give you peace!
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