On the evening of Palm Sunday, April 1, 2012 many members of the First, Second and Third Order of Saint Francis gathered together in the garden of Our Lady of Light Monastery to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the consecration of Saint Clare of Assisi.
From the monastery garden they processed with palms in their hands to the Oratory of Saint Patrick’s, there a beautiful celebration of Evening Prayer took place.
After the chanting of the psalms a reading and visual reflection took place: Clare (a young woman, friend of the sisters played Saint Clare) approached the altar and after lighting her candle in the paschal light she passed it though the church until it reached to all the members of the Franciscan family. Signifying with this play how the light of Christ had passed through Clare to many members of the church through out this 8 hundred years.
This Palm Sunday 2012 the Franciscan Family rejoices greatly as we celebrate the 800th Anniversary of the Consecration to the Gospel life of Clare of Favarone. Clare a Nobel Lady of Assisi left her home and richest to embrace a life of evangelical poverty. On Palm Sunday 1212 Clare entered in to the Holy Week to embrace the Crucify one, as she longed to imitate him in his sufferings. This desire is very well express in her Letter to Agnes of Prague:
“Gaze upon, examine, contemplate, most noble queen, desiring to follow your spouse, who is more beautiful than the sons of humankind, and who for your salvation became the vilest of men, despised, struck, and flogged repeatedly over his entire body, dying while suffering the excruciating torments of the cross. If you suffer with him, with him you will reign, grieving with him, with him you will rejoice, dying with him on the cross of tribulation, with him you will possess mansions in heaven among the splendors of the saints, and your name will be recorded in the Book of Life and will bring you glory among men and women. This is why you may forever in eternity share the glory of the heavenly kingdom rather than what is earthly and transitory, eternal goods instead of those that perish, and why you will live forever and ever”.
May we be good imitators of Our Holy Mother Clare of Assisi.