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Saint Clare was the first female follower of Saint Francis. Born into a rich and noble family, Clare was present when Francis publicly renounced all his worldly goods. She was just 12 years old, but this was a life-changing event for her. At the age of 19, she severed ties with her parents, who were against her ideas, and ran away from home, finding Francis at the chapel of Porziuncola, not far from Assisi, where the saint was living. She had clear ideas: her intention was to create a community of radically poor women who would support themselves with their work, and would gather in prayer for themselves and for others, at the service of the whole community. Francis welcomed her, and a few years later Chare traveled to meet the Pope in Rome to obtain his approval for the rules of what is today known as the Order of Saint Clare, paving the way for the emancipation of women.

 

An interesting fact: one Christmas night, Clare, in the bed of her cell, weakened by illness and sad that she was unable to be close to the community on such an important feast day, took to praying to the Baby Jesus.

When the other nuns came back to see her, Clare told them everything that had occurred during the Mass. To the amazement of her fellow sisters, she explained that God had granted her the grace of watching the scenes of the celebration, projected on the walls of her room as they unfolded in the chapel. This is why Saint Clare is now considered the patron saint of television!

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