Mandeville, LA – The modern “feminist” movement currently promotes the mortally sinful and horrifying, in the eyes of God, proposition that femininity is animated by the obsessive pursuit of sexual gratification. The current edition of the most popular publication of this error is Cosmopolitan magazine, the current cover is shown, right. I won’t put into print what the graphic image displays and that includes the shameless, immodest exploitation of former Disney child actress, Vanessa Hudgens’ physique. In 1930, His Holiness, Pope Pius XI, wrote and had published in every diocese in the world the “Papal Decree Concerning Modesty”. Statement 7 is applicable to Cosmopolitan magazine and others with public stature.
May pious associations of women be established and fostered, organizations which, by their counsel, example and deed, set before themselves the goal of checking the abuse of dress, which is not consistent with the dictates of Christian modesty, as well as the goal of promoting purity of morals and modesty of dress.
Read the entire letter here to learn of the Holy Father’s fear of what was about to occur concerning public modesty which would imperil hundreds of millions of immortal souls and cause the discernment of religious vocation, like that of our beloved Saint Clare, to vanish.Modesty_Pius_XI
The Ravishing and Modest Beauty of Saint Clare, Virgin
aint Clare was born in 1193 at Assisium, a city in Italy, built on a stony mountain called Assisi. Even as a child child she gravitated toward holy things, collecting little pebbles and stacking them as she would pray Ave Maria’s and Pater Nosters, even then, showing a Saint Dominic like connection to the Blessed Virgin and the yet to be distributed, Holy Rosary. Clare had 2 sisters, Beatrice and Saint Agnes.
On Palm Sunday, 11 March, 1212, having become inflamed with a love for The Faith by the preachings of Assisi’s most famous and pious son, Francis, she received a blessed palm branch from Holy Francis and was smitten with the burning desire to become the spouse of Jesus Christ. Her father had already begun planning for Clare’s marriage as she was the most beautiful maiden in all the region and was sought by many courters from near and far.
The next night, not being able to contain her passions for Christ, she fled her family’s wealthy estate, traveled by foot with a childhood friend, to the then modest monastery of Francis and his brothers and begged to be admitted to their holy order. Clare was still wearing the beautiful gown and cope she had worn on Palm Sunday and had her gorgeous hair was still braided up into a most beautiful and ornate bun. The Reverend Alban Butler recounts what happens next.
Francis and his religious brethren met her at the door of their church of Our Lady with lighted tapers in their hands, singing the hymn Veni Creator Spiritus. Before the altar of the Blessed Virgin she put off her fine clothes, and St. Francis cut off her hair, and gave her his penitential habit, which was no other than a piece of sackcloth, tied about her with a cord.
The brothers of Assisi, having no nunnery for Clare to stay at, sent her to the nearby Benedictines of Saint Paul. Not long after her arrival, Clare discerned that God wished for her to establish her own order of his spouses and so it came to pass, the Poor Clare’s were formed.
The poor Clares became famous for their tender love of the poor and their well known physical beauty that they hid beneath the habit choosing instead to show the beauty that a love of Christ can make one glow with. Butler gives us the narrative.
Many noble princesses held for truer greatness the sackcloth and poverty of St. Clare than the estates, delights, and riches which they possessed, seeing they left them all to become humble disciples of so holy and admirable a mistress. [emphasis mine-MC]
Soon after establishing her own nunnery with the help of Francis and the brothers, Clare’s sister, Agnes joined her but this was a sad reunion. Upon learning that she, the beautiful Agnes, was to give her life to Christ and follow here sister, the young knaves of Assisi, who had lusted for her charms their whole adult lives, took her and savagely beat her, attempting to disfigure her beauty. They then dragged the poor maiden to Clare’s doorstep, where Agnes cried out in pain.
“Help me, sister; permit me not to be separated from our Lord Jesus Christ, and your loving company.”
Agnes joined her sister and soon afterward, their earthly mother, Hortulana, joined them as well. Clare founded nunneries all over the region of Italy including Venice, Mantua, Bologna, Spoletto, Milan, Sienna, Pisa and in many towns in Germany. The King of Bohemia’s daughter, Agnes also founded a nunnery of her Order in Prague,and then joined the cloister herself.
Clare’s fame for wise counsel and extreme mortifications won her the respect of all learned men of her time including even the Holy Fathers themselves who sought her counsel. Butler describes how Clare’s order was ordered by Pope Gregory IV to cease their poverty causes and instead collect wealth to be distributed to the poor and nearby churches. Clare refused and after Gregory’s death and the election of Pope Innocent IV she prevailed.
Whilst others asked riches, Clare presented again her most humble request to Pope Innocent IV. that he would confirm to her Order the singular privilege of holy poverty, which he did, in 1251, by a bull written with his own hand, which he watered at the same time with tears of devotion.
There is an unattributed account of one os Saint Clare’s, courageous miracles; that of her saving a child from a ravaging wolf.
In the land of Assisi there was a wolf over sore cruel, which tormented the country and the people and ran upon them and slew and ate them. So there was a woman named Gallane of the Mount of Gallum which had children, and the wolf had ravished and borne away one of them, and had eaten him, wherefore she wept oft. And on a time the wolf came for his prey as he had done tofore for to devour some child. And it happed that this woman was busy in her work which she had in hand, and one of her sons went out, and anon, the wolf caught him by the head and ran with him towards the wood. And a man that was among the vines labouring, heard the child bray otherwise than he had heard any, and came running to the mother of the child, and bade her see if she had all her children, for he said that he had heard the cry of a child otherwise than they be woned to cry. And anon the mother looked and saw that the wolf had ravished her child, and went towards the wood with him like as he did with that other, and cried also high as she might cry: Ah! glorious virgin S. Clare, save my child and keep him, and if thou do not I shall go drown myself. And therewith the neighbours came out and ran after the wolf, and found the child, whom the wolf had left, and a hound beside him licking his wounds. For the wolf had first taken him by the head, and after took him by the reins, for the more easilier to bear him. and the biting of his teeth appeared both in the head and reins. And then the mother went with him to S. Clare that had so well holpen her, and brought with her her neighbours, and showed the wounds of the child to all them that would see them, and thanked God and S. Clare that she had her child again rendered to her.
The most famous of Saint Clare’s acts of courage in the face of evil, lust and the charms of the prince of this world is when a band of barbarians and saracens descended upon the lands around Assisi. Killing, robbing and raping the maidens, they set their sights on the collection beauties they learned were cloistered with Saint Clare. Butler describes what happened.
These banditti came once in a great body to plunder Assisium, and as St. Damian’s convent stood without the walls, they first assaulted it. Whilst they were busy in scaling the walls, St. Clare, though very sick, caused herself to be carried and seated at the gate of the monastery, and the blessed sacrament to be placed there in a [monstrance] in the very sight of the enemies, and, prostrating herself before it, prayed with many tears, saying to her beloved spouse: “Is it possible, my God, that thou shouldst have here assembled these thy servants, and nurtured them up in thy holy love, that they should now fall into the power of these infidel Moors? Preserve them, O my God, and me in their holy company.” At the end of her prayer she seemed to hear a sweet voice, which said: “I will always protect you.” A sudden terror, at the same time, seized the assailants, and they all fled with such precipitation, that several were hurt without being wounded by any enemy.
As Clare aged she bore tremendous sicknesses and always, happily, appeared to be near death, but she never succumbed, choosing instead to exhort her sisters to their own acts of piety and mortification, all the more better to serve and know their spouse and serve the poor of Assisi. On her deathbed Reginald, cardinal of Ostia, afterwards Pope Alexander IV, visited and wrote to her as her servant. Pope Innocent IV. paid her a visit a little before her death, traveling days from Perugia to Assisium for that purpose. The Reverend Butler, that most august of hagiographers, describes her death that brought thios writer to tears.
The passion of Christ, at her request, was read to her in her agony, and she sweetly expired, amidst the prayers and tears of her community, on the 11th of August, 1253, in the forty-second year after her religious profession, and the sixtieth of her age. She was buried on the day following, on which the church keeps her festival. Pope Innocent IV. came again from Perugia, and assisted in person with the sacred college at her funeral. Alexander IV canonized her at Anagnia in 1255.
Clare’s relics were the treasure of The Church and of Assisi and were placed into their final resting place in 1265, at Saint Clare’s, the church built in her honor, by Pope Clement V, who consecrated the high altar under her name, and her body lies under it to this day.
The pious, courageous and uniquely feminine life of Saint Clare is one of the greatest stories we can share with our daughters in this fallen age of immodesty and the false love, that the lustful life, poisons its victims with. In surrendering a mountain of material wealth including even her own beautiful hair, Saint Clare lives with us to this day as a role model of true femininity, that feminine beauty that bathes the poor in spirit of our age, in Grace and love. Saint Clare, oremus!