Our loved saints in heaven are known to intercede in abundance during times like we are living in right now. In the Franciscan family, St. Clare of Assisi has a history of assisting others during the times of grave illness, even far reaching pandemic crisis. At the end of the fifteenth century it was St. Clare who was depicted with the Madonna della Misericordia (Virgin of Mercy) and looked to as a civic guardian against the plague. Triptychs, common works of art in that era highlight St. Clare as a protector of particular individuals.
An example of one of these icons depicts St. Clare blessing the tiny figure of the kneeling person. Other pictures featured are the stigmatization of St. Francis, the Nativity and the Virgin Mary. St. Clare was gradually integrated into many of the Virgin of Mercy’s iconography illustrating groups of people sheltering under the Virgin’s outspread cloak. The local folks are generally kneeling and drawn on a smaller scale. Banners of these depictions were often carried in processions. This famous one shows the civic saints of Saints Clare and Francis with others guarding Assisi. Find Sebastian, Clare, Francis, Rufinus, Victorinus and Roch all of whom are pleading with Christ to spare Italy. Rocca Maggiore is pictured at the bottom as it appeared in 1460.
St. Clare of Assisi, pray for us now and always!
Therefore, dearly beloved, may you too always rejoice in the Lord. (Phil 4:4) And may neither bitterness nor a cloud [of sadness] overwhelm you….
-St. Clare of Assisi