The last "shepherd-hermitess" in Italy:
Sister Clare, extinguished at the age of 86 with the winds of spring (at 15:52 on April 29, 2010), however, far from her revered Mount Cerbaiolo, where she has returned this time for eternity, on her funeral May 3, 2010, where she was buried in the cemetery at the foot of the ancient monastery monastic. A life spent in the service of the silence of the woods, the rugged rock of the valley, the emptiness-filled monastic corridors. But also the mother of her home, where she led the kids in need. That her voice which is often confused in the din of the bleating of her beloved "girls" (as she liked to define the goats in honor of the man who created them). Woman of deep spirituality: even when working in the stables, she could be heard whispering this prayer: "Our Father ... give us this day our daily hay." This little [prayer] served as her "canonical hours of prayer."
She preferred to pray in front of her fireplace, listening to the whistling winter wind break on drafty windows. Hers was the crackling of the fire with logs that were her foot rests. The animals seemed to be her choir: dogs, cats, lambs, but the mouse that walking between the pipes came up to get the cheese out of the hands of the elderly nun. Even an owl had been accommodated in the kitchen, in the normal "wild" of which Sister Clare seemed to be the custodian, the result perhaps-that spiritual closeness to the hermitage of La Verna where Brother Francis received the stigmata. It was for this reason that with a flicker of pride, Sister Clare liked to say to those who came up there, "Who sees La Verna and not the Cerbaiolo, sees the mother but not the son." As simple was her spirituality (belonged to the Order of the Little Franciscan Fraternity of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, based in Florence), it becomes contagious.
The life of shepherds, - explains the religious -, means to know how it feels when the desolation and the agony shows you what the wolf has made, tearing animals. Then you feel helpless and distraught, as if someone stole peace!" That peace that she calls "the Hour of the shepherd." A moment that farmers know well, when in fact the grazing animals are safe and the atmosphere is peaceful and blessed for the pastor. All this has a biblical flavor: a suspension of the spirit that takes you to that relief that becomes an abandonment to God.
"To be a Christian wasn’t just to follow Christ or to follow certain rules and obligations, but to have a nuptial union with him.” At the time, he had a girlfriend – “we would probably have got married” – and I would judge that he is gregarious. “But deep down in me, I realised that I had this great eros – this intense longing – for union with God...”