There is a tradition in which a faithful soul hoping for good weather on, say, her wedding day, could make a trip to the nearest community of Poor Clares. She would present a gift of eggs, along with a petition to St. Clare for clear skies, and the sisters would send up their own prayers in exchange for the kind offering.
The exact origins of the egg tradition are uncertain and details can vary, but here’s the background: St. Clare of Assisi was a young Italian noblewoman who left all her wealth to follow in the footsteps of her friend and mentor, St. Francis of Assisi. She founded the Second Order of the Franciscans, known as the Poor Clares, who followed the Franciscan way of poverty and penance. The connection to good weather might have to do with her name, which means “light” or “clear.” This makes her a fitting saint to invoke if you are looking for clear skies or interior light!
The gift of eggs, specifically, has various possible origins. For one thing, eggs are a useful staple for a religious community that depends on donations to survive. Interestingly, the white of the egg is known as the clara in Spanish. So eggs would make sense as a gift to the daughters of Santa Clara.
One monastery in which this is a particularly popular tradition is the Real Monasterio de Sta. Clara de Manila in Quezon City, Philippines, which traces its history all the way back to 1621. Founded by Servant of God Mother Jerónima de la Asunción, a Poor Clare from Spain, the monastery survived all the way into the 20th century before suffering the heavy bombing of the Battle of Manila in World War II. The community later rebuilt the monastery in Quezon City. Today you can see engaged couples and other weather-petitioners bringing the community gifts of eggs, wrapped in brightly-colored cellophane packaging, to ask for prayers to their holy patroness for a bright, clear day.
Break out the eggs and other kitchen staples and prepare to honor the saints all year through with tasty meals inspired by their holy lives. In Dining with the Saints: The Sinner’s Guide to a Righteous Feast, Dr. Michael Foley—author of the bestselling Drinking with the Saints—teams up with Fr. Leo Patalinghug to offer a catalogue of heavenly recipes to celebrate the feast days of our friends in heaven. Order yours today at The Catholic Company!