Saint Clare of Assisi is an Italian saint and one of the first followers of Saint Francis of Assisi. She founded the Order of Poor Ladies, a monastic religious order for women in the Franciscan tradition. She wrote their Rule of Life which is the first set of monastic guidelines known to have been written by a woman. Following her death, the order she founded was renamed in her honour as the Order of Saint Clare, commonly referred to today as the Poor Clares and her Feast Day falls on the 11th of August.
I bring this to your attention and include one of her prayers for August as it is my hope to have a Franciscan Day sometime in October. We are very blessed in having the Reverend Dr Martyn Hill as one of our friends at St Anne’s and all of us will know his daughter Liz. Martyn has been much involved in the Third Order Franciscans’ in Wales and has an encyclopaedic knowledge on the world wide activity of this extraordinary Order that devotes so much of its energy in meeting the needs of the poor. So hopefully a day programme can be put together that Martyn will lead with Holy Communion, a mini lecture, lunch, the Evening Office, Franciscan music and a visual tour of Assisi itself.
However, the Day (when it comes), is not intended as an opportunity to discover more about an orgainsation, its Founder and enjoy a tourist information slot! As Christians we all need to develop daily routines of prayer so that our spiritual lives may deepen, flourish and grow. There are innumerable ways of doing that and maybe one of them is adopting the prayer cycle that the Franciscans use; I happen to use it myself from time to time. A Franciscan Study Day may well prompt us to reconsider our Christian commitment and how to deepen our discipleship.
St Clare prays that we may, “go forward following the call of God.” We will discover that our spiritual lives are alive and growing when we cultivate of good practice and wholesome Christian discipline as part of our daily lives.
Watch this space for more information.
Pax et Bonum