THIS is that happy and holy place, says Thomas of Cela, referring to the convent of Saint Damian, this is that holy and happy place wherein, t quite six years after the conversion of Blessed Francis and through his efforts, the glorious religion and most excellent order of poor ladies first began. The foundation stone is stronger and more precious than all the other stones of the pile-to wit, the Lady Clara, bright in name, more bright in life, most bright in conversation. She is a native of Assisi, of ble birth and by grace bler, a virgin most pure In heart, young in years but hoary in resolution, very steadfast of purpose, but withal wise and meek and a marvellous lover of God. The admirable woman Clara, whose name signifieth brightness and the light of whose glorious life doth shine in every land, was the child of all illustrious house of the little town of Assisi; she was the fellow citizen of Blessed Francis on earth, and in Heaven they reign together. Her father was a knight and all her kinsmen of like rank-an influential clan, and rich in all those things that are accounted riches in the land wherein she dwelt. Her mother's name was Ortolana, and she, destined to bring forth a most prolific little plant for Christ's garden, was herself fruitful in good works. For twithstanding household cares and the marriage yoke, she found time for the service of God and to cherish Christ in His poor. Nay, she crossed the sea for the sake of devotion, and traversed the places which the footsteps of the God-Man had sanctified, and returning with joy to her native land must needs visit Saint Michael in his shrine on Mount Garga and undertake a pilgrimage to the threshold of the Apostles. And when at last she was with child and her hour was almost at hand, whilst she was praying before the Cross in church to the Crucified to preserve her from the great pain and peril of childbirth, behold she heard a voice saying, Fear t, woman, for thou shalt bring forth a light in safety that shall enlighten the whole earth, ' and thus it came to pass that when presently a maid-child was born she called the babe Clara, hoping that the words of the oracle would one day be fulfilled. This work covers her life and the rule of life prescribed for the Poor Clares.