The Child Jesus spoke to Clare and the Lord, the God-Man still with us in the Eucharist, saved the Poor Clare Nuns.
Saint Clare was seriously ill and could not rise from bed, when some Saracens, who had been attacking and pillaging the surrounding towns, approached San Damiano, the convent Saint Francis had given to Saint Clare and her Nuns. Her Sisters came running to her in a panic. They cried, they feared for their lives; they could see the Saracens approaching, and they didn’t know what to do. Clare summoned two Nuns to help her out of her bed and assist her, as she struggled to get to the Tabernacle where Our Lord Jesus resided, truly Present in the Most Holy Eucharist. She carefully removed the Monstrance from the Tabernacle containing His Majesty, and pressing it against her head, she prayed. Then, walking over to the open window she beseeched the Lord,
“Protect, Lord, these your servants, that I now, by myself, cannot protect.”
A very sweet young voice, that of a young Child, answered, “I will take care of you always.”
Feeling confident, Clare added another prayer, “My Lord, protect also, if it pleases You, this city that by Your Love supports us.”
Our Lord responded to His bride Clare, “It will have to go through suffering, but it will be defended by My protection.”
Clare turned to her Sisters and assured them they would remain unharmed, that the Lord has promised to protect not only them but the citizens of Assisi. And with that, she turned. Facing the Saracens, she raised the Monstrance high in the air; the Saracens froze in their tracks; and when they recovered, fled!
Saint Clare is transported to Bethlehem
We find Clare at the end of her journey on earth, and she is too sick to attend Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. It was the year 1252, and she would live just one more year before joining her Lord and Father Francis in Heaven. All her Sisters had gone to Mass and she was a prisoner of her sick bed. Too feeble to rise, she prayed! She shared with her Lord how sad she was that she would not be able to receive Him, in the Eucharist, on this of all nights, the night He was born.
A great, bright light broke through the darkness, illuminating the bare room. It was followed by the sweet smell of incense filling the air. Clare could hear Angelic voices intoning Christmas hymns. Suddenly she was lifted from her bed; and before she knew it, she was swooped over to the Basilica of Saint Francis, and was participating in the Midnight Mass.
If that was not enough, then Clare found herself being whisked off to Bethlehem of 1200 years before. She found herself in the cave where Jesus was born. There, surrounded by adoring farm animals and shepherds, was the Holy Infant. She looked lovingly toward the Baby Jesus in His straw Creche, His tiny plump little Arms were wide open, as if inviting her closer. Clare looked over to His kneeling parents – His gentle Mother Mary and the earthly foster father who cherished Him – Saint Joseph. Then Our Lord Jesus, the grown God-Man, appeared. He tenderly placed the Sacred Host, His very Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity on her tongue.
With that she was transported back to her convent of San Damiano, to await her Sisters. When they returned, they shared with her how sad they were she was not able to attend Mass with them. Then she recounted her whole experience, how God in His Mercy would not allow her to miss Mass and most especially be deprived of receiving His Body, Blood, Soul and Divine Self, the Eucharist, on this of all nights. Needless to say, they fell asleep praising God, accompanied by the sweet sounds of Angels singing Gloria in Excelsis Deo.
When Clare had given up her comfortable, luxurious life to follow Father Francis, the world she lived in thought her mad. Being very beautiful, from a prestigious family, she’d had her pick of suitors. She didn’t even have the consolation of having Francis near her, to guide her in her walk toward Jesus. But after having heard Francis preach, she knew she belonged only to Jesus. She traded in a large private room, with a soft, comfortable mattress for the stone floor she slept on, and a mattress of straw, surrounded by her fellow Sisters. And what was her reward? Her Lord did not betray her trust in Him, nor His Love for her. All she had to do was be faithful, which she was till the day she died, and He did the rest, rewarding her with being present the evening He was born, and then, with His parents, to adore Him as a Baby. If that wasn’t enough, not wanting her to do without Him, He, the High Priest, appeared and shared His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity with her, in the Eucharist. Did He hear the silent prayers of her heart’s desire, and answered her? We believe, he not only answered her, He blessed her beyond her wildest dreams.
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