Roman Catholics will commemorate Thursday, Aug. 11, the feast day of Saint Clare of Assisi (Santa Clara de Asis), the popular patron saint of childless couples and of good weather.
At the San Pascual Baylon Parish (Obando Church) in Obando, Bulacan, where the Italian saint is venerated as one of the town’s three patron saints and where childless couples traditionally dance the “pandanggo” in May during the fertility fiesta, the feast day mass will be offered at 6 a.m. It will be followed by the Fertility Dance inside the church.
A procession will be held at 7 a.m. to be followed by a Fertility Dance.
It has been an old tradition among locals to offer eggs before her image to pray for good weather and for personal intentions.
Commemorative masses will also be held in honor of Santa Clara in Tigaon, Camarines Sur, and Longos, Malabon.
St. Clare was the first Franciscan sister, and the founder of the Order of Poor Clares, now known as the Order of St. Claire, a monastic religious order for women in the Franciscan tradition. Born in Assisi, Italy on July 16, 1194, she led the Poor Clares for 40 years and lived a life of poverty and self-denial. The members of the congregation depended on alms while they ministered to the sick and did works of mercy.
St. Clare died on Aug.11, 1253,, and was canonized on Sep. 26, 1255 by Pope Alexander IV. Her major shrine is the Basilica of St. Claire in Assisi, Italy which houses her remains.
Having a huge following in the Philippines, the pilgrim relic of St. Clare was brought to key cities and provinces across the country in 2012.