With everything that has been happening in my life this past year, it appears that I have missed a very important anniversary in the Franciscan World. April 16th, 2011 marked the beginning of a year long celebration of the 800th Anniversary of the founding of Order of Saint Clare, commonly known as the Poor Clares. On Palm Sunday, 1212, Clare of Assisi, daughter of a noble family, decided to leave all of her riches and privileges, and join Francis of Assisi in living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She would be soon joined by her sister Agnes and other women; Francis gave them the chapel San Damiano as their monastery.
Saint Clare and her community became the contemplative branch of the Franciscan family, and preserved the ideal of Franciscan poverty. The community continues to this day.