Saint Clare of Assisi

11th August

The name of Saint Clare is associated with the Franciscan call and with the city of Assisi, in Italy. She lived in Assisi, where she followed the teachings of Saint Francis and where she lived a life of poverty in dedication to God.

More women followed in her footsteps, and Clare eventually founded the Order of Poor Ladies, a monastic religious order for women inspired by Francis himself, commonly referred to today as the Poor Clares. Their life is still based on prayer, penitence and poverty.

The Poor Clares have a monastery in Saint Julian’s, Malta, and another one in Munxar, Gozo, whereas one of our Colleges in Malta, St. Clare College, is also named after Clare of Assisi.

Clare chose to live in poverty. After watching the video with the children, ask them:

  • What does it mean to be poor? (The children will most probably answer, “It’s not having money, food, clothes or a place to live in,” and so on)
  • Can you have everything and yet still be poor?

This is a very difficult concept for young children to grasp. However, in today’s materialistic lifestyle, it is important to start familiarising them with the value of being happy with what they have, while still encouraging them to improve upon our current situation whenever possible.

  • Take the opportunity to teach the children to cherish and care for what they have
  • Start getting the children used to not throwing away things that are still in a good condition
  • From a very young age children have to learn how to not be capricious, to learn the difference between a need and a luxury, and to stray away from the habit of ‘always wanting more’

Although Clare’s family did not support her in following her calling, Clare stayed faithful towards the lifestyle that Jesus wanted her to pursue. Jesus talks to us too to show us what he wants from us. How?

  • Help the children understand that any positive and beautiful thought is a message that Jesus sends to our hearts and minds
  • Jesus in the Eucharist was the highlight of Clare’s holy life, and we should make sure that the children have a better knowledge of this Mystery of Love

Upon entering the church, before finding a place to sit, start the habit of stopping in front of the Blessed Sacrament for a while so as to say a little prayer, as we greet our friends. We should also do the same before leaving the church. If the children are still young, offer a suggestion (such as: “Hello Jesus, I came to pay you a visit you today” and “I am leaving Jesus, but I will take you home with me”). If the children are old enough, leave it up to them.

Some reflections for the whole family:

  • Be the one who gives credit to the child when behaving responsibly with what they have, even if this entails writing a message and sticking it on the fridge for everyone to see
  • In prayer we think of those who are lacking the things we take for granted

After hearing Saint Francis speaking about Jesus, Saint Clare wanted to devote her entire life to God. At first, her family did not respect her decision, however she stood by her decision because she truly loved God. In time, some members of her family joined her in her religious lifestyle.

The Eucharist was very important to Saint Clare because she truly loved God, so much so that she dedicated her entire life to God. As a matter of fact, we will be making a Monstrance!

We need:

  • A Pool Noodle (yellow)
  • Pipe Cleaners (yellow or gold)
  • White Paper
  • Popsicle Sticks
  • Craft Glue
  • Gold glitter and or glitter glue

Here’s what we do:

Before you begin, slice the pool noodle up. You’ll also need to make 2 cuts for inserting the popsicle stick. You can do this with scissors. Each monstrance you make will need one pool noodle to have a cut in the bottom, and the other one in the side.

We will then need 2 slices of pool noodle, and 1 Popsicle stick.

You can cut the pipe cleaners in fourths with scissors. Insert them around one pool noodle slice.

Then decorate with gold glitter and/or glitter glue.

Put a little glue on the ends of the Popsicle stick before inserting them into the pool noodle to keep them secure. Cut a white circle from paper and insert it in the middle for the “host”. If you stick the Popsicle stick all the way through, you should be able to glue it right onto the stick. Cover anything that’s still visible in yet even more glitter.

Finally, make the top pipe cleaner piece into a cross with another section of pipe cleaner, because monstrances have crosses on top.

How to use this space

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Saints of the Church. Here you will find useful background and activities to better understand the holy life, helping you to connect the saints to daily life in a meaningful way.