san_damiano2Assisi on June22 nd, celebrates the annual ‘Festival of the Vow’, in memory of the liberation from the Saracen army, due to the prayers of Saint Clare. The solemn procession departs from the center of the city to reach the Basilica of Saint Clare and ends at the Sanctuary of San Damiano.
…In another time Vitale of Aversa, a man who thirsted for glory and courage in battle, guided the army as Captain against Assisi. In which he stripped the district of trees, devastating all the surroundings and finally poses stabile siege in the city. With threatening words he declares that he will in no way leave, unless the city reclaims itself. It was believed that he had reached the point that they feared the imminent fall of the city.
When Clare came to this knowledge, servant of Christ, she was shaken by deep sorrow and called to herself, the sisters saying: “Everyday we receive many goods from this city, dear Sisters: it would be great impiety not to bring aid, how can we, now that it is the moment is right”.
She commanded to bring the ashes, asking the sisters to uncover their heads. She was the first, to do so and spread as much ash over herself; then she placed ashes on the heads of the other sisters. “Go from Our Lord” – she says – and ask him with all your heart the liberation of the city”.
(…) God merciful, the following morning, gives with the temptation, even the way out: in the manner, that the entire are is dispersed, even so the proud man is forced to leave, contrary to his plans, and to stop go around the earth …
From the “Legend of Saint Clare” (Franciscan Sources)