Saint Clare of Montefalco
As I write these words of Clare dying, I feel like crying too, because the story is over. But, is it? The Nuns immediately got the body ready for all the friends of Clare to view. First they removed her heart and placed it in a flowered bowl made of wood. Had they remembered her words, "I have the Crucified Jesus in my heart?"
The Funeral Mass was celebrated on Sunday, the 18th. The preacher, a Franciscan Priest from Bevagna, instead of giving the homily he had prepared, found himself delivering the most extraordinary eulogy, extolling Clare’s sanctity and selfless giving to all who came, never counting the cost. As the words poured from his lips, they became his and he found himself realizing the gift the Father had given him; he was eulogizing a Saint. His brother Franciscans meanwhile looked away, disapprovingly. They were blinded and deafened by the anger they harbored at having been ordered to be here in the first place. It turned out, they were here only out of obedience to Clare’s brother Francesco, their Chaplain. And so, they, too, had been called to share in a gift, but their "No!" robbed them of it.
That evening, the Nuns opened her heart preparing it to place in a Reliquary. To their amazement, Saint Clare of Montefalco’s words came alive; there before them were the marks of Jesus Passion! Cradled inside the softness of her grand heart, was the Perfect Form of Jesus Crucified, even to the Crown of Thorns clearly evidenced on his Head, and the lance Wound in His Precious Side. The Lord had not only planted His Crucified Body within the recesses of her heart, but the painful evidence of some of His Sufferings, the means of flagellation in a form of ligaments or tendons, the whip that was used to scourge our Beloved Lord, with the ends showing the metal balls and the jagged bones used to rip our Lord’s Skin from His Bones.
The news of this miracle spread! As my husband says, "Tell an Italian and you tell the world." (Author’s note: I’m Italian. Mother Angelica is Italian. We’re trying to tell the whole world. Maybe that’s what a Christian is supposed to do.) The following Monday, an old adversary, Fra Pietro di Salomone, made his way to the Vicar of the diocese of Spoleto, Msgr. Berengario. He denounced the Nuns, claiming their findings were willfully misrepresented. On Tuesday Monsignor left for Montefalco. Upon arriving there, he immediately called together theologians, lawyers and doctors. The heart was carefully investigated and they all unanimously concluded that the "marks" were not of an explainable scientific nature or of human understanding, in other words, a phenomena, or as we are so happy to say, God leaving another miracle in our midst. There was not only a document drawn by the Church and affirmed by science, but the civil authorities did their own investigation and issued their findings. The heart of Clare did in fact contain this extraordinary sign and it was not the result of any false doings.
Another phenomena or as we prefer to call it, miraculous sign, was the finding of three stones inside her bladder. When the Nuns further investigated they discovered in the gall bladder three gall stones the size of large hazel nuts perfectly equal in size, color, shape and weight. They were found to weigh all the same, one weighing as much as two, two as three, one as three. The Sisters at the Shrine tell us this sign was left to show the love Clare had for the Blessed Trinity. But we wonder if it was not also, possibly to explain the Blessed Trinity as much as The Triune God can be explained. One Person equal to Each of the Other Two Persons, as well as equal to the Two Combined of the other Persons of the Trinity. In the sign left by the Lord, in the body of Saint Clare of Montefalco, the three weighed the same as one, the two as one, the one as two or as three, all equal. Coincidence?
Saint Clare of Montefalco Rosary
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Dear Bob and
We would like to know how we could obtain a copy of the series that are shown on EWTN.
We have the blessing to be able to pilgrimage to some important places like the Divine Mercy Sanctuary in Cracow, Poland. And only a couple of months ago, I was in Montefalco, Italy visiting the Church where the body of Saint Clare is. We purchased some of the Montefalco Rosaries (the ones made from the seeds from the trees in the garden).That series shown on television, are like the main food of the day, we want to obtain them.
Our mother language is Spanish, and we would like to have that series in DVD
in Spanish version.
Thanks in advance for your reply, we appreciate it.
the DVD on
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Saint Clare of Montefalco DVD
"If you seek the Cross of Christ,
take my heart;
Benedict XVI "Take
Come with us to the beautiful Umbrian mountains to Montefalco, Italy.
Learn the life of Saint Clare of Montefalco, Founder of the order of The Holy Cross Scenes from the Augustinian convent in Montefalco. Venerate her incorrupt body. See the Crucified Christ, and the Crown of Thorns formed inside the muscle of her heart.
She had a vision of Our Lord Jesus carrying His Cross, looking very weary. He said to her, "I am looking for someone I can trust with My Cross. " She said, "You can trust me." He thrust His Cross into her heart. For the rest of her life, she suffered Agony and Ecstasy.
Visit the garden and
miraculous tree which still bears fruit today.
Discover the story of the Montefalco Rosaries made from
these nuts. They come from a stick, watered under obedience to Our
Lord Jesus which is over 700 years old and still bears fruit.
DVD your price $19.95
Special DVD plus Minibook $24.95
Audio CD $4.95 Free Shipping
For Spanish DVD click below
|Other Powerful Women Saints|
Saint Teresa of Lisieux
Saint Catherine of Siena
Saint Rita of Cascia
Saint Clare of Montefalco
Saint Clare of Assisi
Saint Bernadette of Lourdes
Saint Teresa of Avila
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Saint Clare of Montefalco
Clare was born to Damiano and Iacopa Vengente in the year 1268. She was one of four children. The eldest, her sister Giovanna, established a hermitage in the year 1271. Giovanna was twenty years old when she and her friend Andreola set out to live a life of prayer and sacrifice in the tiny hermitage her father built for them. In 1274, it was granted approval by the ecclesiastical authorities. Giovanna was then allowed to receive candidates.
The first candidate was her sister Clare, all of six years old. Her holy parents had great devotion to our Lord and His Mother. That and the ongoing, living example of her sister Giovanna and companion Andreola, whom she visited often at the hermitage, surely contributed greatly to Clare's desire to love and serve the Lord through a life of prayer. She was a very alive little girl whom everyone found genuine, perceptive and sensible beyond her years, as well as extremely lovable. From the very beginning, though she was much younger (Giovanna seventeen years her senior), Clare kept up with her two companions, spiritually, prayerfully and penitentially, almost surpassing the mortification practiced by the others. From her earliest childhood years, there had been a burning love inside her for our dear Lord, especially in His Passion. This fire inside her was what gave her the energy and the zeal, her strength to live a life that would be demanding for most, but near impossible for a little girl.
Although she was a saintly little girl, she was a little girl with a very healthy appetite. She was even known to have to fight her craving for some of her mother's homemade dishes. Because of this fondness for certain foods, Clare made a point of strictly observing not only an ongoing, but an increasingly more stringent fast and abstinence during Lent than what was observed by the others in the hermitage.
As no Religious Rule had been established in the hermitage, it is all the more remarkable that Clare faithfully practiced strict obedience to her sister Giovanna, the leader of the group. Once when she broke the rule of silence prescribed to the Community by Giovanna, Clare imposed on herself a penance of standing in a bucket of ice cold water with her arms outstretched high above her head, praying the Lord's Prayer one hundred times.
In 1278, Clare's friend Marina entered the Convent. She was to be followed shortly after, by others, Tommasa, Paola, Illuminata, and Agnese (like our Sr. Agnese of today). This became a problem. Oh what we would do for such problems in our Church today! With more and more girls requesting admittance into their company, it was soon evident they would need a larger hermitage. Giovanna consulted with the members of her Community and other individuals as well, and after prayer and fasting, they decided to move to a hill nearer to the town. Damiano, Giovanna and Clare's father, again set about the building of the new hermitage. He never finished it, however, as the Lord called him Home. It is believed he died in 1280 or 1281. Clare was 12 years old.
On November 22, 1291, Clare's sister Giovanna went to dwell with her Lord and Master, Jesus. People, soon after her death, began calling her Blessed. Many of our Saints before the twelfth century, were proclaimed Saints by popular demand of the townspeople, because of the lives the Saints had lived; and how they had been touched and changed by the Saints' example.
For Clare, the loss of her sister was to cause her pain unlike anything she had ever experienced before. Not even at the death of her father, had Clare cried. Not even when her mother died in Clare's Monastery, did Clare cry. She loved her mother and father very much, but she had not cried. Now she cried for three days and nights. Inconsolable, allowing no one inside of her, she grieved alone, privately. The Nuns were puzzled to see her cry at the death of her sister, as she had not cried for her parents. Concerned and troubled, they approached her asking her the reason for her tears.
She replied, "How is it you do not understand? I weep neither for her (Giovanna) soul or her body, but only for myself. Isn't that who we cry for? Giovanna was to me an example and a mirror of life; everyday she spoke to me of God and of always new and profound and spiritual matters. For this I weep, for nothing else."
The Bishop's representative arrived for the election of a new Abbess. The Nuns unanimously chose Clare. She wept, feeling totally unworthy, and begged them to choose someone else, someone who was holy and wise, claiming she was neither. She had been unsuccessful when she had requested to be allowed to be among the extern sisters during her sister's lifetime, arguing that she was not holy enough to be part of the cloister. Now she was pleading again of her unworthiness, only to have her sister Nuns turn a deaf ear to her objections. She asked the Nuns to present her petition, to the Bishop, stating she was unqualified spiritually and totally lacking the necessary wisdom to be Abbess. To her dismay not only did they refuse, but her brother Francesco, to whom she then turned, refused as well. Her many friends from Spoleto, knowing first-hand her holiness and virtue, also denied her last ditch effort to have her unworthiness brought before the Bishop.
All the Saints teach one important lesson, from the Old Testament to today, God uses who they are to do His Work on earth. I can see this persistence of Clare, being molded for His Design. [Author's note: Whenever we wonder "why us" the answer we get is, "Because I chose you, no other reason. Yes, there are others more worthy, but I have chosen you. Now just say `Yes,' and get on with it!"]
"Call me Clare. I am simply Clare," she would plead. She continued to choose the most menial chores for herself, performing them humbly and joyfully. One Friday, when the chapter of the Community was held to discuss the matters of the Monastery, as a point of instruction (or possibly as an example), Clare knelt in the middle of the room and ordered the Sisters to give her the discipline (Name of the small whip or scourge used by some austere Religious orders in penitential practice as a means of bodily mortification) in memory of the Lord's Passion. Like so many before her, Clare had the over-riding desire to share in our Lord's Passion, praying she could take some of the Stripes of Jesus on herself, offering herself as a soothing balm for His Wounds.
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Saint Clare of Assisi
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Saints And Other
Down through the ages, men and
women have given their lives to carry out the command of Jesus. Bob
and Penny Lord have tracked the lives of 12 men who have said, Yes!
to Jesus, and dedicated their lives to that Yes!, some at the cost of
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