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I noticed an article in the August 9th New York Port which you might find interesting and
entertaining -- concerning a St Clare. Here is the url. The text follows it...
TV HAS PATRON SAINT
By ADAM BUCKMAN
August 9, 2001 -- DOES TV deserve a saint?
Pope Pius XII thought so. Though few people today seem to be aware of it, Pius proclaimed
St. Clare - a noblewoman born in Assisi at the end of the 12th century - the patron saint
of television in 1958.
Her principal qualification stems from a tale recounting a Christmas Eve when she was too
sick to leave her bed to attend a midnight Mass. So she prayed alone.
The rest of the story is picked up by Sister Mary St. Paul, of the Monastery of Poor
Clares in Cleveland, who wrote a book called "Clothed With Gladness: The Story of St.
Clare" (Our Sunday Visitor Press, osvpublishing.com).
"Our Lord responded [to her prayers] by just mystically transporting her so that she heard
the great ceremonies that were going on at the Basilica of St. Francis, which was clear
across town," said Sister Mary on the phone earlier this week.
"And she not only heard it, but she saw it. It was a type of vision of an actual
contemporary event and so, of course, when television became a reality . . . she was
somebody who had experienced [a form of] television in the 13th century."
Clare eventually established a convent known as the Poor Clares.
Today, her bones and shorn blond hair are preserved in a 750-year-old basilica in Assisi,
in the Italian region of Umbria.
But you don't have to travel that far to pay homage to St. Clare, whose annual feast day
You can attend special celebratory Masses at either of the two churches of St. Clare here
in the city - one in Staten Island, at 110 Nelson Ave., and one in The Bronx, at 1918
Paulding Ave. - although St. Clare's connection to television is not part of the liturgy.
Or you can purchase a 4-inch, glow-in-the-dark figure of St. Clare for about $3.50 at
either of the two branches of the downtown novelty store Tah-Poozie (at 50 Greenwich Ave.
and 78A Seventh Ave., near 15th Street).
The Seattle-based company that markets the statues - Accoutrements Inc.
(www.accoutrements.com) - says it sold 15,000 of them last year and 9,000 so far this year
at stores around the country.
On the back of the package is printed a brief explanation of how St. Clare came to be
proclaimed the patron saint of television.
The Catholic Church defines a patron saint as "someone to whom we pray to intercede with
God on our behalf in a particular matter," explains Joe Zwilling, spokesman for the
Archdiocese of New York.
As television's patron saint, St. Clare "would be somebody to whom people who work in the
television medium could turn so that the work they do each day would be positive,"
While some would say television today is not worthy of a saint's patronage, Sister Mary
thinks St. Clare would not feel that way.
"I think she recognizes the great potential it has for good," Sister Mary said, explaining
that the church "solicits heavenly patrons to guard the creations of man so that good will
may come from them."
In the Monastery of St. Clare in New Rochelle live 12 cloistered nuns who watch TV
occasionally and "with moderation," according to one of them, Sister Elizabeth Enoch.
"I think she'd appreciate it," said Sister Elizabeth of St. Clare. "If it keeps us better
informed, if it enriches our lives in any way and if it's done in moderation, as Clare
says, we should do everything in a spirit of prayer to which all other things serve."
These days, the sisters' favorite show is "Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly," Saturday
mornings on Channel 13.
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