Thursday, August 11, 2011

Clara claris praeclara

SAINT CLARE is greatly to be honored; here are excerpts from her canonization:
CLARA CLARIS PRAECLARA meritis — CLARE OUTSTANDINGLY CLEAR WITH CLEAR merits, in Heaven with the clarity of great glory, and on Earth with the splendor of sublime miracles, is clearly clear. Here this Clare's strict and high Religion twinkles, above the greatness of this one's eternal reward radiates, this one's virtue by magnificent signs, begins to shine upon mortals. To this Clare there was entitled here the Privilege of most high poverty; to this one there is repaid in the highest an inestimable abundance of treasures; to this one by Catholics a full devotion and a heap of honor is exhibited. This Clare did her shining works here mark out, this Clare the plenitude of Divine Light on high does clarify, this one to the Christian peoples do the stupendous works of her prodigies declare.

O Clare, endowed in a manifold manner with titles of clarity! Before thy conversion thou were indeed clear, in thy conversion clearer, in thy comportment in the cloister outstandingly clear, and after having run down the space of thy present life thou has begun to shine as most clear! By this Clare a clear mirror of example goes forth to this generation; by this one the lily of virginity is offered among the heavenly amenities; by this one throughout the lands are the manifest remedies of interventions sensed. O clarity of blessed Clare to be admired, which as much as it is sought more studiously through individual examples, so much more splendid is it found among individual examples! This one gleamed, I say, in the world, in Religion she outshone; in her house she enlightened as a ray, in the cloister she flashed as lightning. She gleamed in life, after death she irradiates; she was clear on Earth, in the sky she shines back! O how great the vehemence of the light of this one and how vehement the illumination of this clarity of hers! This light, indeed, remained enclosed in secret cloisters, and outside it emitted sparkling rays; it was gathered together in a strict convent, and it was sprinkled upon the entire age; it was guarded within, and it flowed forth outside. For indeed, Clare lay hidden, but her life lay open; Clare was silent, but her fame shouted out; she was concealed in her cell and she was known among cities. Nor is it wonderful; because a light so enkindled, so lightsome, could not be hidden away so as to not shine and give a clear light in the house of the Lord; nor could a vessel of so many aromatics be put back and not fragrance and resprinkle the Lord's mansion with a sweet odor. Nay, since in the narrow recluse of solitude this one harshly ground down the alabaster of her body, the whole court of the Church has been filled full in every manner with the odors of her sanctity....
— from Clara claris praeclara, the bull of Pope Alexander IV, Bishop, servant of the servants of God, on the canonization of St. Clare of Assisi, Co-Foundress of the Poor Clares. Given on September 26, A.D. 1255.

Saint Clare's feast is held today in the new calendar, and tomorrow in the old. The life of Saint Clare, from the Catholic Encyclopedia, is found here.


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