Assisi, Italy: Basilicas of Saint Francis and Saint Clare
About the Basilicas of Saint Francis and Saint Clare:
We list these two Basilicas together because Saint Francis and Saint Clare were so close spiriutally.
This Basilica of Saint Francis is on two levels: the lower Basilica houses the tomb of Saint Francis…often pilgrimage groups can celebrate Mass here. The upper Basilica will allow you to marvel at the famous magnificent frescoes that line the walls.
Click here for the official website of the Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi.
The Basilica of Saint Clare:
Then a short walk takes you to the Basilica of St. Clare. His soul mate, St. Clare was one of his most devoted followers. Clare was also from a wealthy family, and encountered much opposition because of choosing to follow Francis instead of the lifestyle planned for her in marriage. Only after Francis cut her beautiful long blond hair off did her family realize they could never win her back.
She founded the Order of Poor Ladies, for women in the Franciscan tradition, and wrote their Rule of Life……the first set of monastic guidelines known to have been written by a woman. Following her death, the order she founded was renamed in her honor as the Order of Saint Clare, commonly referred to today as the Poor Clares.
Eventually, Clare’s sisters and mother entered the convent with her. She was canonized within two years of her death in 1253 and her feast day is celebrated August 11th.
St. Clare’s incorrupt body, now covered in wax can be seen in the crypt of the basilica named after her. in addition to her body, this Basilica also contains the original crucifix which spoke to St. Francis at San Damiano, some of their clothing, and her hair in a glass reliquary.