This article asks how Saint Clare and the early San Damiano community in Assisi, 1212–53, might cast light on a cultural moment when our concerns of interreligious dialogue and collegiality are at risk and the urgent task of restoring the fragmented church is so great. At San Damiano, Saint Clare, with the Poor Ladies and Lesser Brothers, developed a relational spirituality of mutual respect and equality in which contemplation, service to one another, and reconciliation were at the core. As we look for pathways to ecclesial and interfaith dialogue and reconciliation, I draw parallels between the community of San Damiano and the Assisi gathering and offer three insights from Saint Clare’s life and writings to consider: cultivating mutual love and peace, the praxis of presence as a way to a transformed consciousness, and being “an example and a mirror.”

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