by Elaine M. Jordan
This Eucharistic miracle was written by a Franciscan friar who lived at the time of St. Francis, Tommaso da Celano (1200-1255). It describes how St. Clare of Assisi succeeded, with the Blessed Sacrament, in turning away Saracen troops that were surrounding the city.
Regiments of Saracen soldiers and bowmen were stationed there (in the Convent of San Damiano in Assisi, Italy), massed like bees, ready to devastate the encampments and seize the cities. Once, during an enemy attack against Assisi, a city beloved of the Lord, and while the army was approaching the gates, the fierce Saracens invaded San Damiano, entered the confines of the convent and even the very cloister of the virgins. The women were in terror, their voices trembling with fear as they called out to their Mother, St. Clare.
Miracle of St. Clare
St. Clare puts the Saracens to flight
With a fearless heart, St. Clare commanded them to lead her, sick as she was, to the enemy, preceded by a silver and ivory case in which the Body of the Saint of Saints was kept with great devotion. And prostrating herself before the Lord, she spoke plaintively to her Christ: “Behold, my Lord, is it possible that Thou wouldst deliver into the hands of pagans Thy defenseless slaves, whom I have taught out of love for Thee? I pray Thee, Lord, protect these Thy slaves whom I cannot now save by myself.”
Suddenly a voice resounded in her ears from the tabernacle: “I will always protect you!”
“My Lord,” she added, “if it is Thy wish, protect also this city which is sustained by Thy love.’
Christ replied, “It will have to undergo many trials, but it will be defended by My protection.”
Then the virgin, raising a face bathed in tears, comforted the sisters: “I assure you, daughters, that you will suffer no evil; only have faith in Christ.”
Upon seeing the courage of the sisters, the Saracens took flight and fled back over the walls they had scaled, unnerved by the strength of the sister whom they saw praying. And Clare immediately warned those who heard the voice I spoke of above, ordering them sternly: “Take care not to tell anyone about that voice while I am still alive, dearest daughters.”
Prayer to St Clare
St Clare, pray for the conversion of the world to Christ and His Church–and for Christians to realize the immense gift Jesus gave us in the Eucharist. It is precisely because the world has lost its faith in Jesus and the Eucharist that we now face the suicidal depopulation of the West and the ensuing invasion of Islam. Only through the eating of the flesh of the Son of God will we carry Jesus life within us and bravely command every evil to flee our midst.
(From Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler)
ST. CLARE, Abbess.
ON Palm Sunday, March 17, 1212, the Bishop of Assisi left the altar to present a palm to a noble maiden, eighteen years of age, whom bashfulness had detained in her place. This maiden was St. Clare. Already she had learnt from St. Francis to hate the world, and was secretly resolved to live for God alone. The same night she escaped, with one companion, to the Church of the Portiuncula, where she was met by St. Francis and his brethren. At the altar of Our Lady, St. Francis cut off her hair, clothed her in his habit of penance, a piece of sack-cloth, with his cord as a girdle. Thus she was espoused to Christ. In a miserable house outside Assisi she founded her Order, and was joined by her sister, fourteen years of age, and afterwards by her mother and other noble ladies. They went barefoot, observed perpetual abstinence, constant silence, and perfect poverty. While the Saracen army of Frederick II. was ravaging the valley of Spoleto, a body of infidels advanced to assault St. Clare’s convent, which stood outside Assisi. The Saint caused the Blessed Sacrament to be placed in a monstrance, above the gate of the monastery facing the enemy, and kneeling before it, prayed, “Deliver not to beasts, O Lord, the souls of those who confess to Thee.” A voice from the Host replied, “My protection will never fail you.” A sudden panic seized the infidel host, which took to flight, and the Saint’s convent was spared. During her illness of twenty-eight years the Holy Eucharist was her only support and spinning linen for the altar the one work of her hands. She died in 1253, as the Passion was being read, and Our Lady and the angels conducted her to glory.
Reflection.—In a luxurious and effeminate age, the daughters of St. Clare still bear the noble title of poor, and preach by their daily lives the poverty of Jesus Christ.