Francis wrote his immortal Canticle of the Creatures while in Clare’s care at San Damiano. The incredible power and poetry of this song has long fascinated all who read, study, or sing it. One word in that poem, written in Umbrian dialect, and written during a time of daily nursing by Clare, catches the eye. It is the word clarite. “Praised be you, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars, in heaven you formed them clear and precious and beautiful” (Canticle, 5). This is the adjective for the stars. They are “clarite et pretiose et belle,”—clear, precious, beautiful. In the long dark time of his illness, was it Clare who was this “pretiose, belle, clarite” companion whose light helped him endure encroaching blindness and searing pain? She had been—and would remain—the North Star for all who wanted to follow his way.
— from the book Light of Assisi: The Story of Saint Clare
by Margaret Carney, OSF