St. Clare was born in Assisi, the eldest daughter of Favorino Sciffi, Count of Sasso-Rosso and his wife Ortolana. Traditional accounts says that Clare’s father was a wealthy representative of an ancient Roman family, who owned a large palace in Assisi and a castle on the slope of Mount Subasio.
As a child, Clare was devoted to prayer. However, at the age of 18 she heard Francis preach during a Lenten service in the church of San Giorgio at Assisi, and asked him to help her to live after the manner of the Gospel.. Inspired by his words, Clare asked Francis to help her in dedicating her life to God, and he vowed to do so. The following year (1211), Clare’s parents chose a wealthy young man for Clare to marry, but she pointedly refused.
On the evening of Palm Sunday, March 20, 1212, she left her father’s house, and accompanied by her aunt Bianca and another companion, proceeded to the chapel of the Porziuncula where Francis received her. There, her hair was cut, and she exchanged her rich gown for a plain robe and veil.Read More »