How did it happen that the seemingly archaic saint story not only remains very important in the series of other biographies of the Catholic saints, but also became “tied” to our present day?
Clara Assisi (Clara Offreduccio, July 16, 1194 - August 11, 1253) was not a simple follower of Francis of Assisi and the founder of the order of clarís. She herself came from a very ancient race (interestingly, was it then considered to be an ancient race, eight and a half centuries ago?), But the line of ancestors can be traced back to Charlemagne before.
The family was rich and pious, but the daughter set out to marry in the "proper" 12 years. For several years, Clara successfully persuaded her parents to wait a minute with marriage. And in 1212, already being familiar with Francis through her cousins, the girl decided to run away from home.
The decision was so serious and so experienced inside that on the day of her escape, being at Mass in the Cathedral of San Rufino (where she was baptized), she could not rise from the bench. Knowing about the escape, the bishop himself came down to her, handing in the palm branch. The same bishop advised Francis where to send the first woman to a follower - not to the monastery, but to the convent of another order (Benedictine). He endowed Francis (he was not even a priest) with the authority to take vows and shave a girl's tonsure.
She came without a dowry, armed relatives came to her monastery, but Clara refused to return home. Relatives tried to influence both estate pride and family history, but to no avail. As it happened a little later, after 16 days, when Klara's younger sister, Katerina (the future saint Agnes of Assisi, left her home - November 16) left the house. So the mighty and rich earl family with palaces and castles was powerless before the sermons of begging. But later the mother of the girls entered a monastery created by the eldest daughter, who had already become the abbess of her monastery and the founder of her order.
Clara and her sister settled in the monastery of St. Damian (San Damiano), but they established very strict, even by monastic notions, norms. It was not by chance that Clara was called alter Franciscus, or second Francis. The main installation of the Order of the Clarissons is still a prayer, poverty and a complete shutter from the world. This order exists even now in many countries of the world (there are several directions - in France, Spain, the USA, the most numerous congregation - in India, but the main charter is still the one adopted by Clara).
Clara of Assisi died at the age of 59, which, given her poor health, maybe not so little. But for a long time before her death, she could not get out of bed, she was actually chained to her monastic bed. She could not participate in the services, did not go to the Mass, but she had visions: the Mass "came" to her. She saw worship services on the wall of her cell. Like the TV screen. That's what they call it now: “the experience of mystical television.”
It was this fact that caused Pope Pius XII 60 years ago to declare Clara Assisi the patron saint of television. By the way, the largest Catholic television network (Eternal Word Television Network) in the United States was founded by a nun of this order.
Last year, the Vatican Secretary of State, at solemn divine services in Assisi, said that the media “are trying to impose a uniform cultural model based on the logic of consumerism,” and St. Clara’s example makes it possible to appeal to a person’s personality. The first part of the quote is difficult to argue. It remains to say that if the heavenly patroness of television has already been appointed, then there is no escape from this. Like from the television itself. Which, of course, does not meet all the needs of the person, often simply not the best. It is no coincidence that someone recently said that the Kultura TV channel has long been on reservation. Sometimes you just want the Orthodox saints to be “involved” in the new trends of life. If it is at all necessary.
Clara of Assisi is canonized two years after his death. Her remains are kept in the Basilica of her name. One of the lakes on the Great Lakes in the USA is named after her (Lake Saint Clair). And this year there will be big festivals in Assisi dedicated to the saint. Born in a town that remembers very well its past: the Trojan Prince Asio, and the Umber with the Etruscans, and the Romans with the ruler-poet Properzio, and the Emperor Frederick II, and the black plague, and the devastating earthquake in 1997. He remembers all his saints, and they are many.
And holidays in Italy are not imposed, but real, living, nationwide, citywide, on every street, in every home. Women will remember about beautiful dresses, men - about costumes, ties, even butterflies, and the whole city for worship, and then - to the streets, to celebrate.
And the world still knows Assisi embroidery technique, the beginning of which refers to the same time. According to the legend, Francis could bring her from Arab countries, and maybe a certain nun copied monastic frescoes.