Saturday, August 11, 2012

Saturday, August 11, 2012 Litany Lane Blog: Skeptic, Matthew 17:,14-20, St Clare, Order of the Poor Clares

Saturday, August 11, 2012
Skeptic, Matthew 17:,14-20, St Clare, Order of the Poor Clares

Good Day Bloggers! 
Wishing everyone a Blessed Week! 

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Something Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7..

We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift knowledge and free will as well, make the most of it. Life on earth is a stepping to our eternal home in Heaven. Its your choice whether to rise towards eternal light or lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to Heaven is our Soul, our's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012



Today's Word:  skecptic    skep·tic   [skep-tik]

Origin:  1565–75;  < Late Latin scepticus  thoughtful, inquiring (in plural Scepticī  the Skeptics) < Greek skeptikós,  equivalent to sképt ( esthai ) to consider, examine (akin to skopeîn  to look; see -scope) + -ikos -ic

1.a person who questions the validity or authenticity of something purporting to be factual.
2.a person who maintains a doubting attitude, as toward values, plans, statements, or the character of others.
3.a person who doubts the truth of a religion, especially Christianity, or of important elements of it.
4.( initial capital letter ) Philosophy .

a.a member of a philosophical school of ancient Greece, the earliest group of which consisted of Pyrrho and his followers, who maintained that real knowledge of things is impossible.
b.any later thinker who doubts or questions the possibility of real knowledge of any kind.


Today's Gospel Reading - Matthew 17: 14-20

Jesus Healing the Sick
At that time, when they came to the crowd a man approached, knelt down before Jesus, and said, "Lord, have pity on my son, for he is a lunatic and suffers severely; often he falls into fire, and often into water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him." Jesus said in reply, "O faithless and perverse generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? Bring him here to me." Jesus rebuked him and the demon came out of him, and from that hour the boy was cured. Then the disciples approached Jesus in private and said, "Why could we not drive it out?" He said to them, "Because of your little faith. Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

• Context. Our passage has Jesus in his work of healing. After having stayed with the disciples alone in the region of Caesarea Philippi (16.13 to 28) Jesus climbs a high mountain and is transfigured before three disciples (from 17.1 to 10) and then reaches the crowd (17.14 - 21) attempts a new approach to Galilee to regain (7.22). What to think of these geographical shifts of Jesus? It is not excluded that they could have a value of geographical, but Matthew press submit their role of spiritual journey. In his journey of faith community is increasingly called upon to retrace that spiritual which marked the life of Jesus from Galilee of his public and that his resurrection by way of the cross. A spiritual journey in which the power of faith plays a crucial role.

• The power of faith. Jesus, after his transfiguration, with its small community of disciples returned from the crowd, before returning to Galilee (v. 22) and arrive in Capernaum (v.24). And while in the crowd a man approached him and begged him to urgently intervene in the evil that keeps her imprisoned son. The description preceding the intervention of Jesus really clear: this is a case of epilepsy with all its pathological consequences on the psychic level. At the time of Jesus, this type of illness was traced to evil forces and specifically the action of Satan, enemy of God and man, and therefore the origin of evil and all evil. Faced with such a situation arise in which evil forces far beyond human capabilities to the disciples find themselves powerless to heal the child (vv.16-19) and because of their lack of faith (V.20). For the evangelist, this young epileptic is a symbol of those who devalue the power of faith (V.20), not mindful of the presence of God in their midst (V.17). The presence of God in Jesus, Emmanuel, is not recognized, the fact understand something of Jesus is not enough, we need the true faith. After Jesus rebuked the crowd, you bring the boy: "Bring him here" (V.17), heals and frees it when rebuked the devil. Not simply the miracle of healing a single person "" you must also heal the weak and uncertain faith of the disciples. Jesus approaches them who are confused or dazed for their impotence: "Because we could not throw it out?" (V.20). Jesus' answer is clear: "For your wavering faith". Jesus calls for faith that can move mountains of his heart to identify with his person, his mission, his divine power. It is true that the disciples have left everything to follow Jesus but have failed to heal the epileptic boy because of "little faith." It is not lack of faith, only that it is weak, vacillating for sure, with a predominance of mistrust and doubt. It is a faith that is rooted entirely in relationship with Christ. Jesus goes beyond the language when he says: "if you have faith like a mustard seed" can move mountains, is an exhortation to be guided by the power of faith in action, which becomes especially strong in times of trial and suffering and attains maturity when no offense most of the scandal of the cross. Faith can do anything, provided waivers to rely on their human capacity, can move mountains. The disciples, the early community have experienced that unbelief can not be won by prayer and fasting, but you must join the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Personal questions
• Through musical meditation we observed that the disciples are placed in relation to epileptic and Jesus himself. You also find your way relationship with Jesus and with others using the power of faith?
• On the cross Jesus gives witness to the Father and reveals completely. Jesus' words that you thought you asked the total membership: you feel every day committed to move the heart of the mountains that stand between your self-interest and the will of God?

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  St. Clare of Assisi

Feast Day: August 11
Died: 1253
Patron Saint of : eye disease, televesion

St Clare of Assisi
Clare of Assisi (sometimes spelled Clair, Claire, etc.) (July 16, 1194 – August 11, 1253), born Chiara Offreduccio, is an Italian saint and one of the first followers of Saint Francis of Assisi. She founded the Order of Poor Ladies, a monastic religious order for women in the Franciscan tradition, and wrote their Rule of Life—the first monastic rule known to have been written by a woman. Following her death, the order she founded was renamed in her honor as the Order of Saint Clare, commonly referred to today as the Poor Clares.


Clare was born in Assisi, Italy, as the eldest daughter of Favorino Scifi, Count of Sasso-Rosso and his wife Ortolana. Ortolana was a very devout woman who had undertaken pilgrimages to Rome, Santiago de Compostela and the Holy Land. Later on in her life, Ortolana entered Clare's monastery, together with Agnes, Clare's sister.

Clare was always devoted to prayer as a child. When she turned 15 her parents wanted her to marry a young and wealthy man but she originally wanted to wait until she was 18. But when she was 18 she had heard Francis's preachings. Those preachings were beginning to change her life. He told her she was a chosen soul from God. Soon on Palm Sunday when people went to grab their palm branches she stayed. On that very night she ran away to go follow Francis. When she got there he cut her hair and dressed her in a black tunic and a thick black veil. Clare was put in the convent of the Benedictine nuns near Bastia and was almost pulled out by her father for originally he wanted her to marry. Clare and her sister Agnes soon moved to the church of San Damiano, which Francis himself had rebuilt. Other women joined them there, and San Damiano became known for its radically austere lifestyle. The women were at first known as the "Poor Ladies".

San Damiano became the focal point for Clare's new religious order, which was known in her lifetime as the "Order of San Damiano". San Damiano was long thought to be the first house of this order, however, recent scholarship strongly suggests that San Damiano actually joined an existing network of women's religious houses organized by Hugolino (who later became Pope Gregory IX). Hugolino wanted San Damiano as part of the order he founded because of the prestige of Clare's monastery. San Damiano emerged as the most important house in the order, and Clare became its undisputed leader. By 1263, just ten years after Clare's death, the order had become known as the Order of Saint Clare.

Unlike the Franciscan friars, whose members moved around the country to preach, Saint Clare's sisters lived in enclosure, since an itinerant life was hardly conceivable at the time for women. Their life consisted of manual labour and prayer.

For a short period of time the order was directed by Francis himself. Then in 1216, Clare accepted the role of abbess of San Damiano. As abbess, Clare had more authority to lead the order than when she was the prioress, who had to follow the orders of a priest heading the community. Clare defended her order from the attempts of prelates to impose a rule on them that more closely resembled the Rule of Saint Benedict than Francis' stricter vows. Clare sought to imitate Francis' virtues and way of life so much so that she was sometimes titled alter Franciscus, another Francis. She also played a significant role in encouraging and aiding Francis, whom she saw as a spiritual father figure, and she took care of him during his illnesses at the end of his life, until his death in 1226.

After Francis's death, Clare continued to promote the growth of her order, writing letters to abbesses in other parts of Europe and thwarting every attempt by each successive pope to impose a rule on her order which watered down the radical commitment to corporate poverty she had originally embraced. She did this despite the fact that she endured a long period of poor health until her death. Clare's Franciscan theology of joyous poverty in imitation of Christ is evident in the rule she wrote for her community and in her four letters to Agnes of Prague.

On September 17, 1228, the pope sent her letters because she had filled him with admiration. The letters he sent her were for ways to view her grant.

Post death

Basilica of Saint Clare, Assisi.
On August 9, 1253, the papal bull Solet annuere of Pope Innocent IV confirmed that Clare's rule would serve as the governing rule for Clare's Order of Poor Ladies. Two days later, on August 11, Clare died at the age of 59. Her remains were interred at the chapel of San Giorgio while a church to hold her remains was being constructed.
On August 15, 1255, Pope Alexander IV canonized Clare as Saint Clare of Assisi. Construction of the Basilica of Saint Clare was completed in 1260, and on October 3 of that year Clare's remains were transferred to the newly completed basilica where they were buried beneath the high altar. In further recognition of the saint, Pope Urban IV officially changed the name of the Order of Poor Ladies to the Order of Saint Clare in 1263. Some 600 years later in 1872, Saint Clare's remains were transferred to a newly constructed shrine in the crypt of the Basilica of Saint Clare where they can still be seen today.


Pope Pius XII designated her as the patron saint of television in 1958, on the basis that when she was too ill to attend Mass, she had reportedly been able to see and hear it on the wall of her room. The Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) was founded by a Poor Clare nun, Mother Angelica.

In art, Clare is often shown carrying a monstrance or pyx, in commemoration of the time when she warded away the soldiers of Frederick II at the gates of her convent by displaying the Blessed Sacrament and kneeling in prayer.

Lake Saint Clair and the Saint Clair River in the Great Lakes region of North America were named in 1679 on her feast day, August 11. Mission Santa Clara, founded by Spanish missionaries in northern California in 1777, has given its name to the university, city, county, and valley in which it sits. Southern California's Santa Clara River is hundreds of miles to the south, and gave its name to the nearby city of Santa Clarita. Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico celebrates its Santa Clara Feast Day annually on August 12, as the feast was celebrated before the 1960 calendar change.

In the Tridentine Calendar, her feast day is celebrated as a Double on August 12, the day following her death, as August 11 was already assigned to Saints Tiburtius and Susanna, two third-century Roman martyrs. It was changed to a Third-Class Feast in 1960 (see General Roman Calendar of 1962). The 1969 calendar reform removed the feast of Ss. Tiburtius and Susanna from the calendar, allowing St. Clare's feast to be celebrated on August 11, as a Memorial. Although her body is no longer claimed to be incorrupt, her skeleton is displayed in Assisi.


  • Courtesyof Wikipedia 
  • Robinson, Paschal. "St. Clare of Assisi." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 4. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 11 Aug. 2012 <>.

Featured Items Panel from Litany Lane


Today's Snippets:  Order of the Poor Clares

Saint Clare and sisters of her order, San Damiano,Assisi
The Poor Clares, officially the Order of Saint Clare, (Latin: Ordo sanctae Clarae) -- originally referred to as the Order of Poor Ladies, and later the Clarisses, the Minoresses, the Franciscan Clarist Order, and the Second Order of St. Francis -- are members of a contemplative Order of nuns in the Catholic Church. The Poor Clares were the second Franciscan Order to be established. Founded by Saints Clare of Assisi and Francis of Assisi on Palm Sunday in the year 1212, they were organized after the Order of Friars Minor (the first Order), and before the Third Order of Penance or tertiaries. As of 2011 there were over 20,000 Poor Clare nuns in over 75 countries throughout the world. They follow several different observances and are organized into federations.

The Poor Clares follow the Rule of St. Clare, which was approved by Pope Innocent IV the day before Clare's death in 1253. The main branch of the Order (O.S.C.) follows the observance of Pope Urban. Other branches established since that time, who operate under their own unique Constitutions, are the Colettine Poor Clares (P.C.C.) (founded 1410), the Capuchin Poor Clares (O.S.C. Cap) (founded 1538) and the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration (P.C.P.A.) (founded 1854).

Foundation and Rule

The Poor Clares were founded by Clare of Assisi in the year 1212. Little is known of Clare's early life, although popular tradition hints that she came from a fairly well-to-do family in Assisi. At the age of eighteen, inspired by the preaching of Francis in the cathedral, Clare ran away from home to join his community of friars at the Portiuncula, some way outside the town. Although, according to tradition, her family wanted to take her back by force, Clare's dedication to holiness and poverty inspired the friars to accept her resolution. She was given the habit of a nun and transferred to Benedictine monasteries, first at Bastia and then at Sant' Angelo di Panzo, for her monastic formation.

By 1216 Francis was able to offer Clare and her companions a monastery adjoining the chapel of San Damiano where she became abbess. Clare's mother, two of her sisters and some other wealthy women from Florence soon joined her new Order. Clare dedicated her Order to the strict principles of Francis, setting a rule of extreme poverty far more severe than that of any female Order of the time. Clare's determination that her Order not be wealthy or own property, and that the nuns live entirely from alms given by local people, was initially protected by the papal bull Privilegium paupertatis, issued by Pope Innocent III. By this time the Order had grown to number three monasteries.

Spread of the Order

The movement quickly spread, though in a somewhat disorganised fashion, with several monasteries of women devoted to the Franciscan ideal springing up elsewhere in Northern Italy. At this point Ugolino, Cardinal Bishop of Ostia (the future Pope Gregory IX), was given the task of overseeing all such monasteries and preparing a formal Rule. Although monasteries at Monticello, Perugia, Siena, Gattajola and elsewhere adopted the new Rule - which allowed for property to be held in trust by the papacy for the various communities - it was not adopted by Clare herself or her monastery at San Damiano. Ugolino's Rule, originally based on the Benedictine one, was amended in 1263 by Pope Urban IV to allow for the communal ownership of property, and was adopted by a growing number of monasteries across Europe. Communities adopting this less rigorous rule came to be known as the Order of Saint Clare (O.S.C.) or the Urbanist Poor Clares.

Clare herself resisted the Ugolino Rule, since it did not closely enough follow the ideal of complete poverty advocated by Francis. On 9 August 1253, she managed to obtain a papal bull, Solet annuere, establishing a Rule of her own, more closely following that of the friars, which forbade the possession of property either individually or as a community. Originally applying only to Clare's community at San Damiano, this Rule was also adopted by many monasteries. Communities that followed this stricter rule were fewer in number than the followers of the Rule formulated by Cardinal Ugolino, and became known simply as Poor Clares (P.C.), or Primitives.

The situation was further complicated a century later when Saint Colette of Corbie restored the primitive rule of strict poverty to 17 French monasteries. Her followers came to be called the Colettine Poor Clares (P.C.C.). Two further branches, the Capuchin Poor Clares (O.S.C. Cap.) and the Alcantarines, also followed the strict observance. The later group disappeared as a distinct group when their Observance among the friars was ended, with the friars being merged by the Holy See into the wider Observant branch of the First Order.

The spread of the Order began in 1218 when a monastery was founded in Perugia, new foundations quickly followed in Florence, Venice, Mantua, and Padua. Saint Agnes of Assisi, a niece of Clare, introduced the Order to Spain, where Barcelona and Burgos hosted major communities. The Order further expanded to Belgium and France where a monastery was founded at Reims in 1229, followed by Montpellier, Cahors, Bordeaux, Metz, and Besançon. A monastery at Marseilles was founded directly from Assisi in 1254. By A.D. 1300 there were 47 Poor Clare monasteries in Spain alone.


United Kingdom

In Medieval England, where the nuns were known as "Minoresses", their principal monastery was located near Aldgate, known as the Abbey of the Order of St Clare. The Order gave its name to the still-extant street known as Minories on the eastern boundary of the City of London.

After the Dissolution of the Monasteries under King Henry VIII, several religious communities formed in Continental Europe for English Catholics. One such was a Poor Clare monastery founded in 1607 at Gravelines by Mary Ward. Later expelled from their monastery by the French Revolutionary Army in 1795, the community eventually relocated to England. They settled first in York, then in 1857 built a monastery in Darlington, which was in existence until 2007.

Following Catholic Emancipation in the first half of the 19th century, other Poor Clares came to the United Kingdom, eventually establishing communities in, e.g., Notting Hill (1857) (which was forced to relocate by the local Council in the 1960s, and settled in the village of Arkley in 1969), Much Birch (1880), Arundel (1886), Lynton (founded from Rennes, France, 1904), Woodford Green (1920–1969) and Nottingham (1927).

Communities of Colettine Poor Clares were founded in England at Baddesley Clinton (1850–2011), Ellesmere, Shropshire and Woodchester. They have communities in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and in Bothwell, Scotland (1952). In Wales, there are monasteries in Hawarden and Neath.


In Ireland there are seven monasteries of the Colettine Observance. The community with the oldest historical roots is the monastery on Nuns' Island, Galway, which traces its history back to the monastery in Gravelines. Originally a separate community of Irish women under a common Mother Superior with the English nuns, they moved to Dublin in 1629, the first monastic community in Ireland for a century. War forced the community to relocate to Galway in 1642. From that point on, persecution under the Penal Laws and war led to repeated destruction of their monastery and scattering of the community over two centuries, until 1825, when fifteen nuns were able to re-establish monastic life permanently on the site.

Later monasteries were founded in 1906 in both Carlow and Dublin. From these, foundations were established in Cork (1914) and Ennis (1958). In 1973, an enclosed community of nuns of the Franciscan Third Order Regular in Drumshanbo, founded in England in 1852 and established there in 1864, transferred to the Second Order, under this Observance.

Continental Europe

Currently there are communities of Colletine Poor Clares in Bruges, Belgium as well as in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, and in Larvik, Norway. There are several monasteries in Hungary, Lithuania and Poland of the Urbanist and Capuchin Observances.There also is a small community in Münster, Germany and a Capuchin monastery in Sigolsheim, France.

The Americas

United States

After an abortive attempt to establish the Order in the United States in the early 1800s by three nuns who were refugees of Revolutionary France, the Poor Clares were not permanently established in the country until the late 1870s.

A small group of Colettine nuns arrived from Düsseldorf, Germany, seeking a refuge for the community, which had been expelled from their monastery by the government policies of the Kulturkampf. They found a welcome in the Diocese of Cleveland, and in 1877 established a monastery in that city. At the urging of Mother Ignatius Hayes, O.S.F., in 1875 Pope Pius IX had already authorized the sending of nuns to establish a monastery of Poor Clares of the Primitive Observance from San Damiano in Assisi. After the reluctance on the part of many bishops to accept them, due to their reliance upon donations for their maintenance, a community was finally established in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1878.

Since the 1980s, the nuns of New York City have formed small satellite communities in Connecticut and New Jersey with monasteries nationwide. Currently there are also monasteries in (among other places): Bordentown, New Jersey; Boston, Massachusetts; Brenham, Texas; Cincinnati, Ohio; Cleveland, Ohio (O.S.C., P.C.C. and P.C.P.A.); Evansville, Indiana; Los Altos Hills, California; New Kent County, Virginia; New Orleans; Phoenix, Arizona; Roswell, New Mexico (P.C.C.); Saginaw, Michigan; Spokane, Washington; Travelers Rest, South Carolina; Washington D.C.; and Wappingers Falls, New York. Additionally there are monasteries in Alabama (P.C.P.A.), California, Florida, Illinois, Missouri Montana and Tennessee. There is one monastery of the Capuchin Observance in Denver, Colorado, founded from Mexico in 1988.


There are three monasteries of the Order in Canada: Duncan, British Columbia and Mission, British Columbia, and a French-speaking community in Valleyfield, Quebec.

Latin America

There have been monasteries of the Order in Mexico since colonial days. The Capuchin nuns alone number some 1,350 living in 73 different monasteries around the country.  A monastery was founded in Huehuetenango, Guatemala, by nuns from the community in Memphis, Tennessee, in November 1981, in the early days of a bloody civil war which ravaged that country and currently (2011) consists of seven nuns, five natives of that country and two Salvadorans.


The Poor Clares were introduced to the Philippines in the 17th century, when a small community of Colettine nuns were authorized by the King of Spain and the Minister General of the Order to go there to found a monastery. They were led by Mother Jeronima of the Assumption, P.C.C., who was appointed Abbess. Leaving Madrid in April 1620, they arrived in Manila on 5 August 1621. The monastery still stands and serves an active community of nuns. Communities are now also established in Aritao, the Philippines, and Kiryū, Gunma, Japan, which was founded from the monastery in Boston in 1965.

Connections with television

In 1958 Saint Clare was declared Patron Saint of television by the Catholic Church.
Mother Angelica, Founder of EWTN
The Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) is operated by the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration in Alabama. EWTN was founded by Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation, PCPA in 1980 and began broadcasting on August 15, 1981 from a garage studio at the Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Irondale, Alabama, which Mother Angelica founded in 1962. She hosted her own show, Mother Angelica Live until suffering a major stroke and other health issues. Repeats now air as either the Best of Mother Angelica Live or Mother Angelica Live Classics. She now leads a cloistered life at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama and rarely appears on television in new programming.

In June and July 2006 BBC Two broadcast a television series called The Convent, in which four women were admitted to a Poor Clare monastery in southern England, for a period of six weeks, to observe the life


  • Courtesy of Wikipedia
  • O'Hara, Edwin. "Poor Clares." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 12. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 11 Aug. 2012 <>.