THE LEGEND OF SAINT CLARE
In September 2010, Pope Benedict XVI dedicated a General Audience to a reflection on the life and witness of Saint Clare of Assisi. The Holy Father spoke eloquently about Clare’s poverty, chastity, and obedience; her piety, charity, and humility; and her deep devotion to the Poor Christ. The pope also spoke about Clare’s boundless compassion for the sick and suffering. About Clare and the saints, he said: “Those who change the world for the better are holy. They transform it permanently, instilling in it the energies that only love inspired by the Gospel can elicit. The saints are humanity’s great benefactors!” In this episode of the Legend of Saint Clare, updated here for contemporary readers and listeners, Thomas of Celano (1185-1260) describes how Clare was blessed with a miraculous ability to heal and comfort the sick simply by making the Sign of the Cross.
The Legend of Saint Clare
Episode 10 – Healing
Saint Clare loved the Crucified Christ and he gave back to his disciple the love that she gave to him. Clare’s desire for the Cross was so great that Christ gave her the power to heal the sick just by making the Sign of the Cross. So, let us consider some of Clare’s many miracles of healing.
A man named Stefano was covered with leprous sores from head to foot so that no part of his flesh was clean. Stefano begged Saint Francis to heal him, but because Francis knew of Clare’s love for Christ and her ability to heal the sick, he sent the suffering man to her to be signed by the Cross. When Clare traced the Sign of the Cross over Stefano, he was immediately healed and cured of all illness.
Soon after, a young child, just three years old, somehow pushed a stone up into his nose. No doctor could remove it. The boy’s parents brought him to Saint Clare. As she made the Sign of the Cross, the child sneezed, the stone fell out, and the boy was perfectly healed. Another child in Assisi was blinded and no doctor was able to help him see. The child was taken to Clare. She made the Sign of the Cross over his eyes and said to his parents: “Go! Take your son to Madonna Ortolana, my mother, and she will cure him by the Sign of the Holy Cross!” By this time, Ortolana and all of Clare’s sisters had entered the convent to serve God. When Ortolana made the Sign of the Cross over the boy, his sight was completely restored.
Meanwhile, Sister Benedetta was afflicted for many years by an infection on her arm that no treatment could cure. Filled with compassion, Clare visited Benedetta. She removed a poultice from her arm, made the Sign of the Cross, and prayed. All traces of the infection immediately disappeared. Then in nearby Perugia, another nun lost the use of her tongue. Because of her penances and mortifications, the nun could no longer speak or be understood. At the Vigil of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, this nun had a vision that Saint Clare could heal her. Early in the morning, the nun went to Clare and begged for healing by the Sign of the Cross. Filled with faith, Clare made the Sign of the Cross and commended her sister into the care of the Poor Christ. At this same moment, the nun was healed and recovered her ability to speak. Yet another nun, Sister Christiana, lost her hearing. When Saint Clare touched Christiana and traced the Sign of the Cross over her, she recovered at once and was able to hear again.
Finally, several women lay sick in the infirmary at San Damiano. Clare entered the ward and made the Sign of the Cross five times. Five of the women then rose from their beds. All of them were completely cured. The ancient sources are filled with accounts like these of Saint Clare of Assisi’s ability to make miracles, heal the sick, and comfort the sorrowful. We turn to her now and we beg her to pray for us and for all who suffer in our world.
A Prayer for the Intercession of Saint Clare of Assisi
Blessed Saint Clare,
your life shines like a beacon
and casts its light on the Church
to guide us on the way to Christ.
Look with compassion
on the poor, the sick,
and the humble
who beg for your help.
As you bow before Christ in heaven,
speak to him of our afflicted bodies
and broken spirits.
Ask him to heal us
and wash away our sins
in his precious blood.
Blessed Saint Clare,
Great Servant of Christ,
remember the needs of our families
and all who ask for prayers.
Defend us from the darkness
that threatens our holy faith.
Hear the cry of the poor
and make it a song of intercession
that rises from your humble heart
to the Sacred Heart of Jesus,
our Healer, our Savior, our Lord.
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 Francis of Assisi, pray for us! Saint Clare of Assisi, pray for us! Our Lady of the Angels, pray for us!
Legend of Saint Clare Podcasts
- Episode 1 – Beginnings
- Episode 2 – Vows
- Episode 3 – Sisters
- Episode 4 – Harvest
- Episode 5 – Miracle
- Episode 6 – Mortification
- Episode 7 – Prayer
- Episode 8 – Coming Soon
- Episode 9 – Ecstasy
- Episode 10 – Healing
- More Coming Soon!
About the Presenter
Cliff Garvey is a co-founder of the Assisi Project. He is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine, Saint John Seminary College, and the Catholic University of America. Cliff is a writer, spiritual director, retreat leader, and university lecturer. He also serves as Associate Minister of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport in Massachusetts where his ministry focuses on adult faith formation. Thank you for listening to The Legend of Saint Clare, Episode 10 – Healing. The Assisi Project Podcast is produced by the Assisi Project, Inc. For more information about the Assisi Project: A Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit and our programs and ministries for adults of all ages and backgrounds, please contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Copyright 2022. All rights reserved. May the Lord give you peace!
Art Credit: Saint Clare of Assisi | Copyright Nicknickko Dreamstime.com
Founded in 2007, the Assisi Project is a Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit with friends and followers throughout the world. We are dedicated to helping Christian believers of all ages more faithfully live the Gospel of Christ in the spirit of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi. The Assisi Project is a non-profit, tax exempt charitable organization. All are welcome to support our ministry via PayPal (see link below); 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 email@example.com. May the Lord give you peace!
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