Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Monasterio De Santa Clara

Monasterio De Santa Clara, Saint Clare Monastery or Monasteryo ni Santa Clara in Katipunan is one of my favorite places of worship. I have been attending Sunday mass here religiously for almost two years but I haven’t blog about this beautiful place yet.

I love hearing mass here because the place is peaceful and solemn, Father Andres Ranoa who regularly celebrates the mass give thought provoking homilies and because every week I get to hear the  nuns in brown habit sing beautiful old Tagalog songs that are no longer sang in other churches during the mass. 

A lot of people flock to Saint Clare Monastery to offer eggs and prayers. Many came to her to ask her intercession for good weather, to be able to conceive, to pass board exams and other various petitions.

But why are eggs offered to Saint Clare? Clare means "clear'' so it only fitting that we asked for her intercession for clear skies, clear mind and clear conscience.Others add that “clara” in Spanish refers to egg white while in Castillian it means having a short interval of a fair weather in a rainy day so an egg is offered for a good weather. Eggs are associated with fertility and the egg whites are clear hence it symbolizes a clear mind.

Saint Clare (also spelled as Clair or Claire) of Assisi is a good friend and one of the first followers of Saint Francis of Assisi. They both came from noble and well-off families but both turn their backs from wealth and lead a life of prayer and sacrifice. She founded a religious order known as the Order of the Poor Ladies. Saint Clare’s mother, Ortolina, also entered this religious order as well as her sisters Beatrix and Agnes (who is also declared as saint). Her feast day is every August 11.

The Order of the Poor Ladies led by Sor Jerónima de la Asunción and other nuns
came to the Philippines in 1621 and established the Real Monasterio de la Inmaculada Concepción de la Madre de Dios de las Monjas de Sta. Clara (Royal Monastery of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God of the Nuns of Sta. Clara) in Intramuros, Manila. The monastery in Intramuros was destroyed in World War II when American soldier heavily bombed Manila to liberate it from the Japanese invaders. Because no structure was left standing in Intramuros except for the San Agustin Church after 300 years in Intramuros, the monastery transferred to Aurora Boulevard, Cubao, Quezon City. In the 1990s the monastery transferred again to the lot opposite the Aurora Boulevard site which is Katipunan Avenue because the monastery has to give way for the construction of C5.

Schedule of Masses
Masses are said at the Monastery everyday at 6:00 a.m. except for Sunday which is at 6:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Special blessings are said for birthday celebrants of that particular month every first Sunday of the month and special blessings of healings for the sick are prayed by the priest every second Sunday of the month before the mass ends. The intention for the successful board examination of a particular profession for that particular week is also prayed for during the Prayers of the Faithful part of the mass. During the feast day of Saint Clare masses are said every hour throughout the day.

The monastery is open every day from 5:30 am to 7:00 pm.

After the mass you can proceed to the area adjacent to the church to drop off your petitions and eggs, have your religious materials and board examination paraphernalia like pencils, calculators, etc. bless and kiss the relic of Saint Clare.

The area where people write down their petitions for Saint Clare

It is here where the eggs, prayer petitions are offered, where materials are blessed and where you can find the relic of Saint Clare

Picture taking of the relic is not allowed.

How to go to Monasterio de Santa Clara

1. Hop on LRT line 2 and alight on Katipunan Station South Wing. From there walk  towards Katipunan Avenue and turn right once you see the C5 fly over then you can see the monastery from there.

2. Ride a jeep in Cubao and look for those with Katipunan or Parang, SSS signboard and tell the driver that you want to get off at Santa Clara.

3. If you have your own car, drive along Aurora boulevard towards Marikina when you reach the Katipunan intersection turn right. The convent is at the left so turn left towards the first U-turn slot.

Other facts about Monasterio de Santa Clara and Saint Clare

In Jose Rizal's novel "El Filibusterismo" it was the Monasterio de Santa Clara that Maria Clara entered to become a nun.

Saint Clare of Assisi is the same patroness of Obando, Bulacan  that people go to to perform fertility rites.

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