- Thursday, 11 August 2011 07:35
Today we observe the feast day of one the brilliant gems in the crown of Christ the King, Saint Clare of Assisi.
Clare, as you know, is the close companion to the great saint Francis of Assisi, who some have called the “other Francis” because of singular vision of living with Christ poor. In time, Clare founded a group of “poor ladies” living together following the Rule written by Clare for God’s greater glory in enclosed life. First known as the Order of San Damiano, The Poor Clares as they have been known, live a life of joyous poverty in imitation of Christ. Clare’s Rule was an extraordinary act of confidence since the establishment only accepted the Rule of St Benedict for monastic living.
Saint Clare was born on July 16, 1194 and died at the age of 59 on August 11, 1253. She was canonized by Pope Alexander IV on September 26, 1255. Our Saint is the patron of those with diseases of the eye, communication systems, goldsmiths and good weather. Perhaps brides and builders should pay more attention to Saint Clare!
For the 800th anniversary of Saint Clare’s birth holy Mother Church is offering the faithful –with the usual conditions– an indulgence.
The four minister generals of the large Franciscans groups wrote the Poor Sisters of Saint Clare a letter for the anniversary where they say they rely on the continued witness of the daughters of Clare today in the monastic life. The friars propose a consolidation that maintains a “healthy and necessary complementarity” among the friars and sisters.
Here’s the letter: Letter to the Poor Clares.pdf
You may want to read an excellent t book on Saint Clare edited and translated by Capuchin Father Regis J. Armstrong, The Lady: Clare of Assisi: Early Documents (NY: New City Press, 2006).
- Friday, 15 July 2011 09:56
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that, just as we celebrate the heavenly birthday of the Bishop Saint Bonaventure, we may benefit from his great learning and constantly imitate the ardor of his charity.
Pope Benedict gave these 3 addresses on March 3, March 10, and March 17. Read these Wednesday audience addresses if you are serious about Saint Bonaventure!
My friend Father Charles at A Minor Friar has a brief thought on this great Franciscan friar, doctor, bishop of the Church.
- Monday, 13 June 2011 07:30
The great saint from Lisbon and Padua, Anthony, was an outstanding preacher and intercessor. He was –and continues to be– a terrific guide to a fuller life in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the sacrament of the Church. There is no shortage of the faithful who visit a shrine of Saint Anthony to ask for his help in a particular need. In my church I am amazed of people’s tender love for Anthony today. The famous Paduan was known for his holy life, his knowledge of sacred Scripture and Theology.
Anthony’s first vocation was lived with the Augustinian Canons and after seeing the bodies of the first martyrs of the Franciscan Order brought through Portugal, he was moved to join the Friars in their mission of preaching for the salvation of souls, especially among the Muslims.
Here’s the traditional blessing of lilies for the feast of Saint Anthony of Padua.
- Sunday, 20 March 2011 09:38
Blessed John of Parma (1209-1289) was born at Parma. He studied and taught philosophy and known to be a devoted man to the Lord. Sensing the Lord’s call to serve Him more intensely, John entered the newly founded Friars Minor, the group that followed Saint Francis of Assisi. Completing his theological studies John was ordained priest and taught theology at Bologna, Naples and eventually in Rome. Father John was sent to the Council of Lyons in 1245.
In 1247, Father John was elected the 7th minister general of the Franciscans, an election presided over by Pope Innocent IV, who thought very highly of Father John. John set in motion several initiatives to keep the friars focussed on the mission of Francis and his spirit looking keenly on poverty and humility as hallmarks of the Franciscan way of living the Gospel.
Father John was sent as a papal legate to Constantinople in an attempt healed the schism between Catholics and the Greek Orthodox. He had limited success.
Our peripatetic friar died on March 19, 1289 and his feast is kept on March 20. Father John was beatified in 1777.
More on Blessed John of Parma can be read here
- Monday, 07 February 2011 13:52
Saint Colette is the famous 15th century reformer of the Poor Clare nuns. You see her reform noted as the Colettine Poor Clares. She follows to a “T” the rigorous life set down by Saint Clare herself in hearing the words “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” She did; so did others.
King Henry VIII would compare Saint Colette to “a diligent bee that gathers exquisite honey from the precious flowers of the most rare virtues.”
The Prayer Over the Gifts for Saint Colette’s Mass reads:
Lord, may the gifts we bring You help us to follow the example of Saint Colette. Cleanse us from our earthly way of life, and teach us to live the new life of Your kingdom.
Here the Church wants us to receive the gift of singular focus on the new we’ve received already through Baptism, Confirmation and the Holy Eucharist. The new life preached by Christ and the Church today.
According to the Roman-Franciscan Sacramentary
of 1974, February 7 is the liturgical memorial of Saint Colette, not March 6 as noted in other places. A previous blog post on Saint Colette can be read here