Br Massimo Fusarelli: ‘Let us learn with Clare to love freely to the end.’

“Clare was able to come to terms with the death she carried within her, thanks to her unceasing search for the Lord, to remaining in the footsteps of his blessed footsteps. Here she learned to come to terms with death even through her illness, learning to love gratuitously to the end, just as she discovered that she was loved without measure”. Br Massimo Fusarelli, Minister General, said this on 10 August, during the Vigil of the Transitus of St Clare at San Damiano, the place where the Saint lived and died.

In front of the Franciscan family, religious and pilgrims who flocked to San Damiano, Br Massimo explained the importance of the transitus for our days: “To recall tonight her transitus in this place, where she lived like the dove in the cleft of the rock, learning to wash the feet of the sisters and the poor, and from these blessed feet learning to recognise the presence of the Lord Jesus, is a great gift for me and each of us”.

The Minister concluded his homily by referring to the figure of St Francis, who “welcomed Sister Clare to the plain where the young Clare’s journey began: to the Portiuncula”. He added: “Here Francis from heaven accompanied Clare to the encounter with her Lord, the mature fruit of the love with which she had always sought and desired him”.

The journey of spiritual preparation for the feast of St Clare in Assisi had begun with the novena from 2 to 9 August. It ended on the eve of 10 August with First Vespers, and Mass of the Solemnity presided over by Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino, Bishop of Assisi – Nocera Umbra – Gualdo Tadino and Bishop of Foligno, and the Vigil at St Damiano, presided over by the Minister General. This morning, on the Solemnity of St Clare, Mass was celebrated in the Basilica of St Clare by Archbishop Vittorio Francesco Viola ofm, Archbishop Secretary of the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. At 5.30 p.m., Br Francesco Piloni ofm, Minister Provincial of the Friars Minor of Umbria-Sardinia, presided at Second Vespers.