From "The Little Flowers, Legends, and Lauds"

Edited by Otto Karrer,
Translated by N.Wydenbruck
1979, Sheed & Ward, London.

E.Morrogh Bernard,
Vicar General, Westminister
Aug.14, 1947

Saturday, December 25, 2010

How St.Clare, at the command of the Pope, blessed the bread on the table, and how the cross appeared on each loaf (33)

St.Clare, that most devout disciple of the Cross of Christ, and noble plant of St.Francis, was of such saintliness that not only the Bishops and the Cardinals, but even the Pope, desired, with great affection to see her, and the latter often visited her in person. Once when the holy father had come to her convent to hear hear speak of celestial and divine things, and while they were together, conversing on divine topics, St.Clare ordered the tables to be prepared and the loaves lain on them, for the holy father to bless them. Therefore, when their spiritual conversation was over, St.Clare knelt down with great reverence and begged him to be pleased to bless the bread laid on the table.

The holy father said:"Most faithful Sister Clare, I wish you yourself to bless this bread and make over it the sign of the Cross of Christ, to whom you have given yourself entirely."

And St.Clare said: "Most holy father, excuse me, for I wish would deserve the severest reproof if, in front of the Vicar of Christ, I, who am only a poor little female, would presume to give this blessing."

And the Pope answered: "So that this may not be reckoned as presumption, but as a work of obedience, I command you to make the sign of the Cross over this bread and to bless it in the name of God."

Thereupon St.Clare, as a true daughter of obedience, blessed the bread most devoutly with the sign of the holy Cross. And, marvellous to relate, instantly there appeared on every loaf the sign of the Cross most beautifully impressed. Then a part of the bread was eaten, and a part kept because of the miracle. And the holy father, having see the said miracle, took of the said bread and, thanking God, departed, leaving St.Clare with his benediction.

At that time there dwelt at the convent Sister Ortolana, the mother of St.Clare and Sr.Agnes, her bodily sister, both of them, like St.Clare, full of virtues and of the Holy Spirit, and with them many other saintly nuns. St.Francis sent many sick people to them, and they, with their prayers and the sign of the Cross, gave them back their health. Praised be Christ, Amen.

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