Letter of Clare to Ermentrude

To Ermentrude, dearest sister, Clare of Assisi, humble handmaid of Jesus Christ, greetings and peace.

I know that you, o dearest sister, have fled the filth of the world, with the help of God’s grace; for which I rejoice and give thanks with you and again rejoice that you tread the paths of virtue strenuously with your daughters. Be faithful, dearest, to him to whom you are promised until death, and you will be crowned by him with the laurel of life.

This labor of ours is brief, but the reward is eternal; let the noises of the fleeting world and its shadow not confound you;  let the empty specters of the deceiving world not drive you mad; shut your ears to the whispers of hell and, strong, break down its attempts [against you];  willingly bear adverse evils and let provident goods not puff you up; for the one requires faith, the other demands it;  what you promised God, faithfully render, and he will repay you.

O dearest, look on heaven that invites us, and bear the cross and follow Christ who preceded us;
Indeed, after various and many tribulations we shall enter through him into his glory.  Love with your whole heart God and Jesus, his son, crucified for our sins, and never let his memory escape your mind;  make yourself mediate continually on the mysteries of the cross and the anguish of the mother standing beneath the cross.

Pray and be always vigilant.  And the work that you began well, finish and the ministry you assumed, fulfil in holy poverty and sincere humility. Do not fear, daughter, God is faithful in all his words and holy in all his works, he will pour out his blessing on you and your daughters; and he will be your helper and your best consoler; he is our redeemer and our eternal reward.

Let us pray God for each other, for in bearing each other’s burden of charity we shall fulfil the law of Christ.


Clare of Assisi, St.

Saint Clare, follower of the Poverello, St. Francis of Assisi, was born to a noble family of the town of Assisi, in Umbria, Italy in the year 1193. When her neighbor Francis gave away all his possessions to follow Jesus in poverty and prayer, Clare felt herself drawn to follow his example. Under his direction, she founded an order of contemplative nuns vowed to poverty, chastity, and obedience who are often known today as the “Poor Clares.” Mother Angelica, founder of the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) is a member of one of the offshoots of this Franciscan Order for women founded by St. Clare. During her lifetime, Clare was renowned for her deep holiness and great wisdom. Her advice was sought after even by the Pope. She died in 1253. St. Clare’s feast day in on August 11. She, who died over 700 years before the invention of the electric light, is recognized as the patron Saint of television.