Clare was too ill to go to Midnight Mass services with her Sisters... She lay there, her heart breaking as she was to be deprived of our Lord Jesus in the Eucharist on this special night. Her thoughts brought her back to the time in Gubbio, when Francis made the first Nativity Scene, after which all Nativity scenes in the future would be fashioned. Christmas had always been a joyous time for both Clare and Francis...

She looked about the bare room that served as the sleeping quarters for the Sisters. Suddenly, there was a great light in the room. She could hear the sounds of Christmas hymns being sung at the great Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi. She felt herself being lifted out of her bed. The cool breeze of the December night brushed across her face; she was transported to the church amidst what sounded to her like the voices of angels. She could smell the sweet fragrance of burning candles, and altar incense. She was taking part in the Midnight Mass at the Basilica.

Then she was whisked off to the East, to the Bethlehem of 1200 years before. She was brought down to the cave where the Infant Jesus was born. St. Joseph and Mary were there, in the company of the animals whose cave the Holy Family shared. Our Lord Jesus came to her as a grown man, and placed the Sacred Host in her mouth. Then she was transported back to the convent of San Damiano in Assisi. When her daughters in Christ came back upstairs from the Church, their joy was overshadowed by the great sorrow they felt because their Mother had missed the beautiful service... She told them of her experience, and how the Lord Himself had given her Communion.

Saints and Other Powerful Women in the Church
Bob and Penny Lord