Franciscan Spirit Blog

Lent with St. Clare: Holy Thursday

Purple flower in a field

“She frequently and reverently washed the feet of the serving sisters who returned from outside and, after washing them kissed them.” —The Legend of St. Clare

As the ultimate act of humility and service, Clare would often wash her sister’s feet. There is a story that recalls a time when as Clare was bending to kiss a sister’s foot, the sister pulled her foot away out of humility and accidentally kicked St. Clare in the mouth. Rather than react, St. Clare simply pulled the foot close to her again, and kissed it.

In such an act of humility, St. Clare mirrored that of Christ as he washed and kissed the feet of the disciples at the Last Supper.

Gaze | Consider | Contemplate | Imitate

Francis came to San Damiano for care. His companions were sworn to secrecy about the miraculous vision of Christ, but the fact of the wounds and the resulting pain were adding to his rapid physical decline. For all of the torment Clare now witnessed, she had the joy of being able to serve him with all of her skill.

Not only was she able to see to the medicinal help he needed, but she provided special slippers to protect his feet from the excruciating pain of the wounds. Clare had spent years in adoration before the Cross that had called him from sin. Who could better understand what was transpiring? This fact of stigmatization was totally new in Christian experience.

These confidential companions struggled to comprehend it and to trust the evidence of their own eyes. Only with the formal notice of Francis’s death was the miracle made public. It would, to be sure, be controversial through the ages.

For Clare, controversy was unimaginable. She bathed and dressed those wounds barely daring to breath. She saw—as few would ever see—what a poet would later call Francis’s “Veronica-veil of flesh.” His early promise to lead her to intimacy with Jesus was fulfilled as she beheld the incarnate icon of the Crucified Son of God. –from Clare of Assisi: A Heart Full of Love

lent with saint clare


St. Clare,
As we observe Holy Thursday,
may your act of humility and service inspire us
to strip away our vanities and humbly serve others.


7 thoughts on “Lent with St. Clare: Holy Thursday”

  1. william jefferson

    I really loved the comments on Saint Clare’s love and humility. Also the comments about death was a strong reminder that this world is only temporary.

  2. Mike Reininger

    As far as that stigmata stuff, the mind is a powerful thing. I heard that there some Buddhist monks around century ago that focused on the crucifixion to the point that they too developed what looked like the stigmata just to prove something. But since they weren’t Christian, I guess it didn’t mean anything to anyone but themselves.

    As far as the video and the talk about mortality, I think it is always a good idea to remember the inevitable. It’s amazing how some people can delude themselves into thinking that they’re never going to die. Amazing! I suspect that when I die, it’s going to be the happiest time of my life. I almost died when I was ten months old, but yet here I still am for whatever reason. Apparently, a miracle had occurred at that time from what I was told.

  3. Lord Jesus Christ, by your death on the cross you have won pardon for us and freedom from the tyranny of sin and death. May we live in the joy and freedom of your victory over sin and death. Amen.

  4. @Mike Reininger – to your point, another anecdote was a report that someone had a quarter placed on his/her wrist and under hypnotic suggestion, was told that it was burning hot- a 2nd-degree burn was recorded in the very spot. So in our faith it’s more an attestation to the hyper-focused on Christ, much in the spirit of Jesus’s sweating blood while undergoing his Passion in the Garden.

  5. How St. Clare mirrored Christ as a servant in all situations, but especially to read this account on Holy Thursday really brought to life the imagery of what a saintly life truly embodies.

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