A Story of Saints Agnes & Clare of Assisi
After her flight from the world, Saint Francis found refuge for Clare at the Convent of Saint Paul. After a few days, he led her to the ancient monastery of Saint Michael the Archangel which was located on the slope of Mount Subasio. Each day, Clare’s young sister climbed the hillside to visit and pray with her. Francis blessed this sister with the new name of Agnes, which means “lamb.” One evening, like her older sister, Agnes refused to return to the family home. She sent a message that she would stay at the convent and pursue the gospel life.
Angered now by the loss of two nieces, Monaldo assembled a company of armed men and raced on horseback up the mountain. After all, Clare was eighteen, but Agnes was still a girl, not yet fifteen, and still under the authority of her elders. They entered the monastery, found the girl, beat her, and yanked her away from the other sisters. Agnes cried: “Clare, my sister, help me! Help me!” Inside the monastery, seemingly undisturbed by the cries of her sister and the commotion outside, Clare continued to pray.
The captors pulled the girl through a thick wood. They dragged her over stones and through bushes. Every stone was stained with her blood and every thorn pulled a hair from her head. Because of their rough and severe treatment, Agnes fell to the ground. She was broken and exhausted. Monaldo then ordered the men to carry her. In obedience to their brutal master, the men attempted to lift the girl but their arms seemed lacking in strength. One of them said: “She must have eaten lead!” Indeed, Agnes body became heavier than lead itself and became part of the ground upon which she had fallen. Monaldo was now enraged. He threatened his niece with a raised fist, but was struck with a paralyzing pain. He cried out in agony. Frightened by this strange punishment, his followers fled for home. Still afflicted, Minaldo soon departed for Assisi, too.
Now abandoned in the forest, Agnes remained among the stones and thorns. At this moment, Clare rose from prayer and left the convent. She followed the trail of bloodstained stones and golden locks tangled in thorns. She found the place where the place where her sister lay seemingly dead. Clare approached and took her sister by the hand. She said: “Agnes, arise! Let us go together to serve our Lord Jesus Christ, the Divine Spouse.” Agnes rose to her feet. She was healed miraculously from her afflictions as though nothing had ever happened. She awakened as though to a new and glorious morning. And together, the two sisters walked back to the convent.
A Prayer of Saint Agnes of Assisi
help me to grow closer to you,
so that my soul may pay homage
to the greatness of your divine majesty;
so that my heart with its afflictions
may know your boundless love and mercy.
Glory to the Father,
to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen.
Saint Agnes of Assisi, pray for us!
Saint Clare of Assisi, pray for us!
Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us!
Our Lady of Angels, pray for us!
Saint Agnes of Assisi (1197-1253) is venerated as a patron of the Order of Saint Clare. Under the guidance of Saint Francis, she founded convents in Monticelli, Mantua, Padua, and Venice. Her relics rest in the Eucharistic Chapel in the Basilica of Saint Clare in Assisi. Her feast day is November 16th. Art Credit: Massimo Cruciani | cruciani.com
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. The Assisi Project is a non-profit, tax exempt charitable organization. All are welcome to support our ministry via PayPal or AmazonSmile; or by sending a tax-deductible donation to the Assisi Project, Post Office Box 3158, Gloucester, Massachusetts 01931-3158. For more information about the Assisi Project, please contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org. May the Lord give you peace!
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