October 4th is the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. To celebrate the day we would like to recount two obscure stories about St. Clare and St. Francis while they were still in the womb or about to be born.
Hortulana, St. Clare’s Mother Praying for a Safe Delivery.
Note unborn Clare
It is said that St. Clare received the name Clare, which means clear or bright, for the following reason. While her mother Hortulana, was kneeling before a crucifix, praying that God might aid her in her hour of delivery, she heard the words : ” Do not fear. You will give birth to a light which shall illumine the whole world.”
There is a legend about the birth of St. Francis. Lady Pica, (his mother) was finding her labor to be particularly difficult. Her husband was abroad in France on one of his business trips, and she was at home with only her household staff in attendance. Whether it was her idea, or another’s, the thought came that perhaps a walk would be good, and so she set out a short distance to the nearby stable. Apparently it did the trick. The baby Francis hastened his entrance into the world, and ended up being born in the stable.
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