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!

Friday, March 21, 2008

A Beautiful Good Friday Legend

In memory of Christ's passion and death on this Good Friday, I would like to share with ya'll a beautiful legend about the dogwood tree, on whose wood Jesus was crucified:

At the time of the crucifixion, the dogwood had reached the size of the mighty oak tree. So strong and firm was the wood that it was chosen as the timber for Jesus' cross.

To be used for such a cruel purpose greatly distressed the dogwood. While nailed upon it, Jesus sensed this, and in his compassion said. "Because of your pity for my suffering, never again shall the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used for a cross. Henceforth, it shall be slender, bent, and twisted, and its blossoms shall be in the form of a cross–two long and two short petals.

"In the center of the outer edge of each petal will be the print of nails. In the center of the flower, stained with blood, will be a crown of thorns so that all who see it will remember."

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I hope that you all experienced the joy of the Irish today!

My dad and I were just watching a segment on the History Channel about the Irish in America, which reminded me how the Irish people in this country exemplified the hope, joy, and endurance of the Catholic faith. I simply had to thank God for making me part Irish! At my graduation from Notre Dame in 2006, the keynote speaker and President of Ireland Mary McAleese delivered a wonderful speech about the endurance and hope of the Irish. You can read this address by following this link.

In the spirit of St. Patrick's Day, I also wanted to share with you the link to one of my favorite Poor Clare websites- the Poor Clares of Galway, Ireland. Their website epitomizes in a very Irish was the joyful simplicity of Poor Clare life.

Erin Go Bragh! (Ireland Forever!)

Saturday, March 15, 2008



I apologize for this somewhat haphazard post...I would have had a countdown, except I only recently realized that the Church moved the Feast of St. Joseph (which traditionally is celebrated on March 19th) to today due to the fact that March 19th falls during Holy Week.

An interesting fact that I learned over the past year is that Pope John XXIII had a huge devotion to St. Joseph. You can read all about his love of St. Joseph in this article.

Finally, I would like to share with you all a very nice prayer to St. Joseph. Remember, he is a very powerful intercessor!

Appeal to St. Joseph

O BLESSED ST. JOSEPH, tenderhearted Father, faithful guardian of Jesus, chaste spouse of the Mother of God, I pray and beseech thee to offer to God the Father, His Divine Son, bathed in Blood on the Cross for sinners, and through the thrice Holy Name of Jesus, obtain for us from the Eternal Father, the favor we implore . . . Amen.

O JOSEPH, foster Father of Jesus, most pure spouse of the Virgin Mary, pray for us daily to the Son of God, so that, armed with the might of His grace and loyally fighting the good fight here on earth, we may be crowned by Him at the hour of our death. Amen.

Have a happy Feast Day of St. Joseph and a prayerful upcoming Holy Week!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Feast of Saint Colette!

Many of you may not be familiar with Saint Colette of Corbie, one of my favorite Saints- other 14th and 15th Century such as St. Vincent Ferrer and Joan of Arc have been more famous throughout the ages. However, Saint Colette is a very important Saint, as she is the co-foundress of my beloved Poor Clare Colettines.

The story of Colette's life has personal significance for me, since I've recently been filled with much uncertainty about my direction in life. When she was a young adult, Colette also went through a time in her life when she has trouble discerning God's plan for her. For instance, Colette spent time at several different monasteries before deciding that God wanted her to reform the Poor Clares, and experienced frustration along each step of the way. However, throughout her discernment process, she learned to put God's will above her own desires and approach her search patiently and prayerfully. Here are two prayers by St. Colette that illustrate her desire to place God at the center of her discernment:

The Dedication Prayer of Saint Colette

O Blessed Jesus,I dedicate myself to You
in health,
in illness,
in my life,
in my death,
in all my desires,
in all my deeds.
So that,I may never work henceforth
except for Your glory,for the salvation of souls,and for that which
You have chosen me.
From this moment on, dearest Lord,
there is nothingwhich I am not prepared
to undertake for love of You.


Let us always regret
that we have but one heart
with which to love God,
and that this heart is so poor and weak.
But such as it is,
God asks it of us!
Let us give it to Him
Constantly and completely.
Let Him have this poor heart
for time and eternity.

In a world where so many young adults seek immediate answers, we can surely learn from the young Saint Colette's patience, perseverence, and trust in God as she tried to figure out His plan for her. In the spirit of Saint Colette, I'd like to share with you all one of my favorite prayers, written by the late Thomas Merton:

Thomas Merton's Prayer of Trust

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you and I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing.
And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road although I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death, I will not fear, for you are ever with me and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
Happy Feast Day, Saint Colette! Please pray for us!

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