A joyfully Franciscan view of Catholic life, inspired by St. Clare (Santa Chiara) of Assisi!

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Chiara Offreduccio (St. Clare) was born in 1194. It is said that when her mother had Chiara in her womb, an angel appeared to her and said, "your child will be a light that will illuminate the world!" Hence, her mother named the child Chiara, which means "light. As G.K. Chesterton put it, St. Clare was a romantic figure just like Juliet was. However, instead of running away from her family in order to be with an earthly man, Clare gave up everything and ran away from her family for the love of her Savior!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Chiara Countdown: The Tavola of St. Clare

After doing so many posts on St. Clare, I can't believe that I haven't made a post about the Tavola yet! The Tavola is probably the most famous icon of Holy Mother Clare:

The tavola is the work of the Saint Clare Master and dates to the thirteenth century. It is a portrait of Saint Clare and the eight insets along the sides depict the most important events in the life of the saint. The tavola should be viewed starting from the bottom left.

Here, we can see Bishop Guido as he hands an olive branch to Saint Clare. This is followed, in order, by the scenes showing Saint Clare being taken in by the friars at the Porziuncola, her taking of the veil and her father's attempt to force her to abandon her intention of taking her vows. On the right is Agnes, who is being held back from following her sister Clare, the scene in which a cross appears on a loaf of bread before the Pope's eyes, the saint on her deathbed and her funeral, which was attended by the Pope.

The Poor Clares of Ty Man Duw have a wonderful explanation and reflection of the Tavola of St. Clare. Instead of reproducing the reflection for you on my blog, here is the link to the Poor Clares' website.

The Tavola indeed proves that a picture is worth a thousand words!


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