Nine years ago today, on the Feast of St. Clare, I professed my first vows in Hankinson at our Provincial House!
What a special day!
St. Clare, in fact, has been special to me for some time. Not only was I received as a novice (with a haircut* and all) on her feast day and did I make first vows two years later on that date, I had been introduced to her previously.
*When St. Clare fled to follow St. Francis, he cut off her beautiful hair, tangibly illustrating her departure from worldly things for the sake of Christ
When I was first discerning religious life, my mom happened to stop in at a local religious goods store. She had been making home visits as a hospice nurse and couldn’t find the patient address; she stopped in this store to get directions.
She recalls saying a prayer, “Mary is there anything I should pick up while here?” Strange as the story may seem, two copies of the same book fell off the shelf near her. It happened to be a biography of St. Clare, and she felt inspired to get it for me.
I read it, and appreciated learning more about this inspiring saint, who is often pictured holding the Blessed Sacrament due to a story that she held off invading troops from her monastery by bringing Jesus out and asking His protection for her Sisters.
I feel a special closeness to this early follower of St. Francis. Not only do we share a special love for the Eucharist, but she also is patroness of embroiders, communications, and against eye problems, three things very relevant to me personally.
Her desire to faithfully follow in the footsteps of Christ inspires me on my journey.