St. Clare of Assisi

From a noble and influential family, Clare Offreduccio (1193-1253) was prepared by her mother for a life of generosity and service. As a teenager, Clare often heard St. Francis preach. Moved by her love for God, and attracted to Francis’ love for the Gospel message, Clare rejected her family’s plans for her and arranged secretly to join the brothers in their life of prayer and service.

She founded her own community of “poor ladies,” and was the first woman to write a rule of life for religious women. During her lifetime, she stressed devotion, kindness, tenderness and practicality to the women who were cloistered with her in the church of San Damiano. Clare is remembered as Francis’ most faithful follower, and the co-founder of the Franciscan movement. Therefore, we look to both Francis and Clare to teach us Franciscan values, and seek to imitate them as inspired servant leaders.