Tuesday, 20 October 2015

St Clare 1193-1253 - Patron Saint of Needleworkers

If you aspire to become a saint in order to get a head
start you should have been born in Assisi, Italy as
the town boasts not one, but two to it's name.
And how spooky is this - they actually knew each other!

Assisi by night but no clubbing for Clare or Francis I'm afraid

Clare di Faverone (St Clare) became a follower of
Francis de Bernadone (St Francis) and at the tender age
of eighteen she turned her back on her privileged
upbringing and decided to take the veil.

End of story, or so you might expect, had she not fallen
ill and taken the needle too.  No Alice dear, she didn't
become a junkie supplied by old St F, she became an
embroidress of course like so many of us when faced
with sickness and adversity, me included.

Our patron saint.  Wonder what make of frame that is?

So for the final thirty years of her life, often propped up in
bed (been there, done that, got the duvet cover), she 
stitched away.  And on good days she even spun flax into
thread to make her own fine linen.  That's probably what
made her a saint.  Sod that, say I, but then I would as I've
been a devout sinner from birth.

Example of Assisi work

Novenas, thus called because they are "woven" out over 
nine successive days, should only be addressed to St Clare 
if you wish to call upon her assistance in misfortune,
anxiety and distress and should begin:
"O Glorious St Clare etc ....."

That explains the oil stains - she would wipe
the bottom of that lamp with her work.

However if you prefer to crack open a bottle to celebrate
the feast day of our patron you need to make a note in
your diary for 11th August and don't forget to have a word
with your wine merchant well in advance as a really good
bottle of that old sixties favourite, Blue Nun, isn't always
that easy to come by.  Cheers m'dears!


  1. Did you ever see the movie Brother Sun Sister Moon? I was obsessed with it at one point (very start of my teen years) and it started me on a St. Francis kick. At that time I didn't know St. Clare was the patron saint of needleworkers. Who knew my obsession with St. Francis would connect to my obsession with the needle?

  2. I think a lot of people of our vintage had a dalliance with that film. I wouldn't mind seeing it again sometime just to see how I feel about it now.