Happy feast of St. Clare of Assisi day

August 11, 2011

It has been brought to my attention (via my dad, because that's what dads are for) that today is the feast day of St. Clare of Assisi. As far as namesake saints go, Clare is pretty cool: she was one of the first followers of animal-lover St. Francis. She was a former rich girl who cut off her hair and renounced her fancy garb and future rich husband in order to become a nun.

More bizarrely, Clare is the patron saint of television, despite the fact that she was born around 1194(1194-07-16... According to lore (and Wikipedia), Pope Pius XII designated her as the patron saint of TV in 1958, on the basis that when she was too ill to attend Mass, she had reportedly been able to see and hear it on the wall of her room.  The Eternal Word Television Network  (EWTN) was founded by a Poor Clare nun, Mother Angelica.

I've been given a handful of semi-kistchy glow-in-the-dark St. Clare statues over the course my life, which I've heard some TV producers and editors place near their consoles. It's probably divine intervention that I eventually became a TV critic, although the presence of the St. Clares on my cable box doesn't always guarantee that I watch quality TV.

Disassociating Catholocism from its faith elements for a moment, it's just fun and weird to delve into the lore of the different saints (it's sort of like a cross between collecting baseball cards and getting into Greek mythology.) Tell me in the comments section: what's the most unusual factoid about your namesake saint? You don't have to be Christian to play.