OFM Franciscans - India

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Feast of St Clare

St. Clare of Assisi! What draws me personally to St. Clare? It is her valiant and determined personality. As I was reading the life of St. Clare again, I was once again inspired by her grit and determination. The family had plans for St. Clare. However, God has other plans for St. Clare. When forced to return to her paternal home, St. Clare literally clung to Jesus grabbing the Altar with her hands.

St. Clare’s determination is evident when she held her breath to stay alive until she obtained the privilege of absolute poverty. She desired with all her heart to remain a “Poor Clare” of Assisi. St. Clare writes in her Testament, “...Time and again we willingly bound ourselves to our Lady, most holy Poverty, that after my death, the sisters, those present and those to come, would never turn away from her.”

St. Clare was a woman of superior discernment. She realized she was called to be a little plant, nourished and cared by Brother Francis. She therefore moved from the Benedictine Monastry to embrace the Gospel way of life in spirit and letter. She sought the Pope's blessings for this way of life. It was a cloistered way of life but the sisters were not wealthy property owners. She writes in her Testament, “But if, for the integrity and privacy of the monastery, it becomes necessary to have more land beyond the limits of the garden, no more should be acquired than strict necessity demands. This land should not be cultivated or planted but always remain untouched and undeveloped. ” St. Clare encouraged seeking alms and in this way the sisters sought the poor crucified. Poverty, as I understood today from a short sharing by Rev Timothy Khoo, is all about not wanting to have even when it is available. ...it's the practice of saying NO to all that is possible. Poverty is to feel the value of each and every aspect of life both physical and spiritual.

St. Clare writes in her testament, “For the Lord himself has placed us not only as a form for others in being an example and mirror, but even for our sisters whom the Lord has called to our way of life as well, that they in turn might be a mirror and example to those living in the world. Since the Lord has called us to such great things that those who are to be a mirror and example to others may be be reflected in us, we are greatly bound to bless and praise God and be all the more strengthened to do good in the Lord. Therefore, if we live according to the form mentioned above, we shall leave others a noble example and gain, with very little effort, the prize of eternal happiness.”

St. Clare used the metaphor of Mirror to speak about the spiritual life. Using this metaphor, St. Clare invites Agnes into contemplation: reflect on the infancy and poverty of Jesus, to consider holy humility and to contemplate the perfect charity and immense love that Jesus shows for us on the Cross. St. Clare felt that a life well lived by imitating the saviour was the best way to evangelize. In this way one becomes a mirror. But this is to be done first of all within the Monastery. The sisters and in our context the friars should live an edifying life in which they show one another as the mirror of Christ. In the words of Pope Francis, we become joyful witnesses of the Gospel. St. Clare while blessing her sisters insists that they remain “eager to observe what you have promised the Lord .”

This quotation caught my eyes in the San Damiano Retreat Centre here in Singapore which is originally inscribed in the hermitage at Naples: “Transform your entire being into the image of the Godhead itself through contemplation.”

I extend my best wishes on the Feast of St Clare with these words of St. Clare’s Blessing: “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord bless you and keep you. May He show His face to you and have mercy on you. May He turn HIs countenance to you and give peace to you, my sisters and daughters, and to all other who come and remain in your company and to others both now and in the future, who have persevered until the end in every other monastery of the Poor Ladies.”

Br Praveen Henry D Souza

The Minister Provincial

 

 

 

ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI

ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI

ST. FRANCIS

ST. FRANCIS

FRIARS' BIRTHDAY (December)

Date

Name of the Friars

Events

Year

02

St. Louis Friary – Palmaner

Fidelis D’ Lima

Foundation

Ordination

1949

1964

05

Abraham Vadana

Shaji Nicholas Vadachery

+ Valentine Crasta

Birth

Birth

Home

1946

1969

2011

06

Baptist D’ Souza

Birth

1975

07

+ Anthony’s Church - Bannur

Erection

1999

09

Anil Kerketta

Birth

1980

11

Richard D’Silva

+ Agnel D’ Mello

Ordination

Home

1960

2013

13

Vincent Soosai

Varghese Sebastian

Scaria Varanath

Thomas M.M.

Dayanand

Anand Suresh Minj

Nideesh M. John

Birth

Ordination

Ordination

Ordination

Ordination

Birth

Birth

1970

1975

1975

1975

1975

1987

1993

14

+ Titus Myppan

Home

2012

15

Gregory Fernandes

Ordination

1963

16

Paul K.L.

Assisi Sadan - Nagpur

Birth

Foundation

1952

1993

17

Sidney Mascarenhas

Varghese Lakra

Ordination

Birth

1967

1977

18

Ajit Kerketta

Birth

1976

19

James Kallarackan

Friary Chapel – Palmaner

Birth

Blessing

1942

1967

21

Parish Church - Palmaner

Blessing

1964

22

Francis Agnelo Rozario

Birth

1966

24

Emmanuel Christopher

Birth

1992

25

Mukti P. Ekka

+ Celestine Reardon

+ Ambrose Staskunas

Birth

Home

Home

1973

1976

1986

26

Tony D’ Souza

+ Paschal Fernando

Birth

Home

1962

1994

27

Irudayaraj Fernando

Sahaya Dhas J.

Ordination

Ordination

2002

2013

28

Madhu Sudhan Reddy

Ordination

2015

29

Thumma Ranjith Kumar Reddy

Ordination

2015

30

+ Gratian McEvoy

Wilson Paul Nattalil

Stephen Lamin Gashnga

+ Kuriyan Joseph

Home

Ordination

Ordination

Home

1992

2003

2012

2015

31

Sleeva Reddy

Birth

1968