It was on Palm Sunday night in the year 1212, that Clare left her family home in secret. With the help of St Francis, she entered a cloistered convent, put on a rough habit, and her hair was shorn. Here family tracked her down but she refused to leave; she remained as the faithful supporter of St Francis. Later, her sister joined her, and a home was found for them next to the church of San Damiano in Assisi. Other women joined them, and they became the ‘Poor Ladies of San Damiano’, living simply and in great poverty. After Clare’s death, the order was known as the Order of St Clare.

Pope St John Paul II said of her, ‘Her whole life was a Eucharist because … from her cloister she raised up a continual “thanksgiving” to God, in her prayer, praise, supplication, intercession, weeping, offering and sacrifice. She accepted everything from the Father in union with the infinite “thanks” of the only begotten Son’.

May she pray for us, and may God bless you this day.