St. Clare of Assisi died on August 11, 1253. Two months later, Pope Innocent IV entrusted Bishop Bartholomew of Spoleto with the responsibility of promoting the Cause of her canonization. Three months later, on November 24, 1253, Bishop Bartholomew together with the archdeacon, Leonardo of Spoleto; Jacobo, the archpriest of Trevi; Brothers Leo and Angelo who were close friends of St. Francis; Br. Mark, chaplain of the monastery, and a notary went to the Monastery of San Damiano in Assisi – and officially interviewed under oath 13 of the sisters who had lived with St. Clare.

Three of the sisters: Sr. Philippa, Sr. Amata & Sr. Balvina all related the following event. I will read Sr. Philippa’s testimony from The Acts of the Process of Canonization: The Lady Clare narrated how on the most recent night of the Lord’s Nativity [Clare’s last] because of the serious illness she could not get up from her bed to go to the chapel. All the sisters went as usual to Matins and left her alone. The Lady said with a sigh: “Lord God, look, I have been left here alone with You.” She immediately began to hear the organ, responsories and the entire Office of the brothers in the Church of Saint Francis, as if she were present there.

Sr. Amata added that St. Clare also saw the manger of our Lord Jesus Christ. Sr. Balvina added that St. Clare later said to her sisters: “You left me here alone after going to the chapel to hear Matins, but the Lord has taken good care of me because I was not able to get up from my bed.”

Pius XII making her patroness of television February 14, 1958:
The Church, who has never been against the progress of civilization, encourages [inventions and discoveries], and even uses them for the propagation of truth and the extension of religion. Among such useful inventions, the television has its place; it “reproduces the sights and sounds of distant events in so vivid a manner that one would think to be actually present at them.”
Television … can be the source of great good, but, at the same time great evil, in view of the singular power it exercises over the very soul of the family. It behooves us, therefore, to give to this invention, a heavenly safeguard, who prevents its evil and allows its good. We wish to appoint, for this patronage, St. Clare. It is said that in Assisi, one Christmas night, Clare, confined to her convent by sickness, heard the fervent hymns that attended the sacred ceremonies and saw, as if she were present in the Franciscan church…. In her splendor, her innocence, and her light which she throws on our darkness, may St. Clare protect this instrument and may she give to its translucence the lights of truth and virtue – the pillars of our society.

In consequence, having consulted the Sacred Congregation of Rites, … and after much thought, by the Apostolic power, through this letter and forever, We make, We Constitute and We declare St. Clare, virgin of Assisi, celestial patroness, after God, of Television. We give to her the liturgical privileges and honors that constitute such a patronage.

Matins would have preceded the Midnight Mass which was one of the times the nuns would have received Holy Communion – one modern biography of St. Clare, in fact, recounts the vision of St. Clare under the heading: A Televised Christmas Mass
“It is obvious, of course … that to be present at Mass portrayed by television is not the same as being actually present at the Divine Sacrifice, as is of obligation on holy days. However, from religious ceremonies as seen on television valuable fruits for the strengthening of the Faith and the renewal of fervor can be obtained by all those who, for some reason, are unable to be actually present. Consequently, We are convinced that We may wholeheartedly commend programs of this kind.” Pope Pius XII Miranda Prorsus 219-220


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