St. Clare of Assisi – Contemplative Prayer and Hope for the World
We know Chiara Offreduccio di Favarone (1193 – 1253) as St. Clare of Assisi. She was a contemporary of St. Francis of Assisi and also focused on the poverty of Christ. It was not uncommon for men and women to live as hermits throughout the history of Christianity, dedicating their lives to prayer, contemplation, and penance. Some women live as hermits or anchorites in private rooms adjacent to churches such as Hildegaard of Bingen. St. Clare continued in St. Hildegaard’s tradition and also gathered a small group of women who shared this contemplative lifestyle. Today, they are know as the Poor Clares.
From the Poor Clare Nuns of Belleville:
13th century St. Clare stands as a 21st century witness of Gospel hope. She is reminder that human fulfillment is not a matter of power or prestige or possessions, but of discovering the treasure that lies hidden in the field of the world (3rd Letter of St. Clare to St. Agnes of Prague). Clare bears shining witness that the kingdom of God is within. She shows the world that a life full of God is a life full of hope. She confirms this telling observation of Pope Benedict XVI: Prayer is the language of hope — not a hope which isolates or renders indifferent to the sufferings of the human family, but a hope that gives the individual a heart for the world and thus to all that makes the world truly worthy of its divine destiny.