Poor Clare Federation of
Mary Immaculate in the
United States of America
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What is the Meaning of our Federation Logo?

The monstrance holding the Blessed Sacrament (depicted in our federation’s logo) is commonly found in iconography of St. Clare. It recalls an incident that took place during her lifetime in September 1240, as well as her lifelong devotion to our Eucharistic Lord.

During an enemy attack on her monastery of San Damiano, Our Lord Himself promised our Holy Mother Clare His protection in the words, "Ego vos semper custodiam." This Latin phrase, variously translated into English as,“I will always defend you,” “I will always protect you,” or “I will always take care of you,” is the escutcheon of the Order of Poor Clares.

The following text, taken from the Legenda Sanctae Clarae Virginis Assisiensis (written in 1255), relates the incident:

The Spoleto Valley more often drank of the chalice of wrath (Rev. 14:10) because of that scourge the Church had to endure in various parts of the world under Frederick the Emperor. In it there was a battle array of soldiers and Saracen archers swarming like bees at the imperial command to depopulate its villages and to spoil its cities. Once when the fury of the enemy pressed upon Assisi, a city dear to the Lord, and the army was already near its gates, the Saracens rushed upon San Damiano, entered the confines of the place and even the enclosure of the virgins. The hearts of the ladies melted with fear; their voices trembled with it, and they brought their tears to their mother. She, with an undaunted heart, ordered that she be brought, sick as she was, to the door and placed there before the enemy, while the silver pyx enclosed in ivory, in which the Body of the Holy of Holies was most devotedly reserved, preceded her.

When she had thoroughly prostrated herself to the Lord in prayer, she said to her Christ with tears in her eyes: “Look, my Lord, do You wish to deliver into the hands of pagans Your defenseless servants whom You have nourished with Your own love? Lord, I beg You, defend these your servants whom I am not able to defend at this time.” Suddenly a voice from the mercy-seat of new grace, as if of a little child, resounded in her ears: “I will always defend you.” “My Lord,” she said, “please protect this city which for Your love sustains us.” And the Lord said to her: “It will suffer afflictions, but will be defended by my protection.”

Then the virgin, raising her tear-filled face, comforted the weeping sisters, saying: “My dear children, I guarantee, you will not suffer any harm. Just have confidence in Christ.” Without delay, the subdued boldness of those soldiers began to be alarmed. They were driven away by the power of the one who was praying, departing in haste over those walls which they had scaled.

Immediately Clare advised those who had heard the voice mentioned above, saying eagerly to them: “Dearest children, be careful not to reveal in any way that voice to anyone while I am still in the body.”

We desire never to forget the tremendous promise given to us by our Lord through our Mother St. Clare. As our cloistered contemplative life is centered so fully upon the Blessed Sacrament, our federation logo fittingly serves as a reminder that the Lord to whom we promise, “We will always take care of You,” through our vowed lives, will always defend, protect, and take care of His little poor ones.