By Christina Hermoso
Roman Catholics celebrate on Sunday, August 11, the life and works of Saint Clare of Assisi (Santa Clara de Asis), the popular patron saint of childless couples and of good weather.
At the San Pascual Baylon Parish (Obando Church) in Obando, Bulacan, where the Italian saint is venerated as one of the town’s three patron saints and where childless couples traditionally dance the “pandanggo” in May during the fertility fiesta, a special mass and a procession are traditionally held on her feast day.
It has been an old tradition to offer eggs before her image to pray for good weather and for personal intentions.
Festivities will also be held in honor of Santa Clara in Tigaon, Camarines Sur.
St. Clare was the first Franciscan sister, and the founder of the Order of Poor Clares, a monastic religious order for women in the Franciscan tradition. Born in Assisi, Italy in 1194, she led the Poor Clares for 40 years, and lived a life of poverty, and self-denial. The members of the congregation depended on alms while they ministered to the sick and did works of mercy.
St. Clare died in 1253 and was canonized on Sept. 26, 1255 by Pope Alexander IV. Having a huge following in the Philippines, the pilgrim relic of St. Clare was brought to key cities and provinces across the country in 2012.