Saint Clare

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Clare of Assisi, St (1194–1253), Italian saint and abbess. With St Francis she founded the order of Poor Ladies of San Damiano (‘Poor Clares’), of which she was abbess. In 1958 she was declared the patron saint of television, on the grounds that she miraculously experienced the Christmas midnight mass in the Church of St Francis in Assisi when on her deathbed.

She is often shown with a pyx or monstrance, in reference to the story that when Assisi was in danger from the army of the Emperor Frederick II, which included Saracen troops, Clare (who was ill) was carried to the wall of the city holding a pyx with the Sacrament, and the attacking forces fled. Her feast day is 11 (formerly 12) August.

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Saint Clare, 1193?–1253, Italian nun of Assisi, devoted from her youth to St. Francis, to whom she took a vow of poverty. She led a life of great austerity. She organized her companions into the Franciscan nuns, or Poor Clares, and struggled a long time for the preservation of the primitive poverty of her order. Feast: Aug. 11.