Today's Saint (August 12 ): Clare, Virgin (1194-1253)
Saint Clare was born in 1194 in Assisi. She was so moved by the preaching of Saint Francis that she renounced her worldly goods and became a nun.
Francis made a home available for her, adjacent to the church at San Damiano in Assisi. Her mother and two sisters, along with other women, joined her, and so the convent was born.
The nuns at San Damiano convent, with Clare as the abbess, were known for living entirely off the alms of others and for practicing extreme forms of asceticism. They walked barefooted, abstained from food, slept on the floor, and endured poverty - all for the sake of Christ.
The accompanying picture is of a fresco painting of Clare and Francis, by Giotto di Bondone (1279-1300), and is located in the Upper Church, San Francesco, Assisi.
“Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity: therefore God even thy God hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” (The day's Introit, page F 39, The People's Anglican Missal)
Books Worth Considering
Saint Clare of Assisi: Her Legend and Selected Writings
Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
The Oxford Dictionary of Saints (Oxford Paperback Reference)
The Penguin Dictionary of Saints: Third Edition (Dictionary, Penguin)