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Saints and Soulmates: Francis and Clare of Assisi

“The real soulmate is a state of consciousness, not a person.”

As we write in The Shared Heart, “The real soulmate is a state of consciousness, not a person.” That being said, there can also be an outer soulmate, or life partner, an ancient connection with another soul where the primary purpose is serving together, blessing the earth together, more than simply loving one another.

Joyce and I have a deep affinity for St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi, really ever since we saw the movie, Brother Sun and Sister Moon, in 1973, and I left the movie theater wanting to give away all our possessions. Well, I never did that but, in our own way, we have tried to live a life of simplicity and spirituality.

And there is another reason we feel especially close to Francis and Clare. It was their profound love for each other. Were these two saints also soulmates? I believe so. How much time did they spend together? Very little. Did they ever have a sexual relationship? I seriously doubt it.

Then why am I convinced they are soulmates? First of all, I don’t claim to be a Franciscan scholar. However, I do have a shelf-full of books about Francis and Clare, mostly Francis, for very little has been recorded about Clare. These include the earliest works written by those who were actually with these two.

From all that I have read, it is clear how much these two great souls loved each other. For the purpose of this short article, I have to be brief.

Clare was just a teen from a noble family when she first heard Francis preach in about 1210, but he lit a spiritual fire within her that eventually led her to run away from her family. Francis initiated her as the first woman in his then little band of followers. He eventually cloistered her at San Damiano, the first church that he rebuilt. And there she stayed for the rest of her life, with a growing number of women, including her own mother and sister.

There are several recorded events about these two saints that reveal the profound love that they shared. One time, Francis was struggling with the direction of his life, whether to live his life as a hermit in seclusion or to continue preaching and traveling. He sent one of his brothers to San Damiano to instruct Clare to pray for divine guidance. Her prayer was answered. His life should be a path of service in the world. So great was his trust in Clare that he immediately obeyed her directive and set out on the road. Even so, he balanced his life with periods of seclusion and prayer in the most remote, and austere, places.

Another time, probably before Clare was established at San Damiano, she was walking with him in the wintertime along a snowy road. She asked, “Francesco, when will I see you again?” Probably to put her off, because I believe he was a bit scared of his love for her, he said, “When you find a rose blooming in the snow.” He was probably confident in the impossibility of this happening in the dead of winter. As the story goes, she immediately walks into the woods, finds a rose in full blossom, and returns to show Francis. That’s how powerful Clare’s love was for Francis.

Well, from the different reports, Clare hardly got to have any time with Francis in person. Soul to soul, they were always together. Clare finally had her wish granted near the end of Francis’ life. Very ill and blind, he was brought to San Damiano so that Clare could minister to his many ailments. Even if she couldn’t cure him like she did for so many others (for by then, throngs of people came to her for healing), she still could tend to the man who awakened her heart to the presence of God.

Clare devoted her life to God and to Francis. Each autumn, during our retreat in Assisi, we bring the group to San Damiano, where many can feel the powerful presence of Francis and Clare, even in the blocks of stone that Francis carried and put into place to rebuild the small church. We tell stories about the two divine lovers in the little room where she slept with her spiritual sisters, and later died. Frequently, other groups who understand English linger to hear the stories. And we see Clare’s tiny private garden, where she had a view of Mt. Subasio. She could feel when he was up on the mountain, and could join him in prayer, blessing his ministry no matter where he was.

Perhaps my favorite story is one that had numerous witnesses. Clare once revealed to her sisters, “If only I could have a meal with Francesco.” Very likely, she never had that privilege. Somehow, word got back to the brothers about Clare’s desire, and they approached Francis, saying something like, “Hey Francesco, all Chiara wants is a simple meal with you. Don’t be a jerk!” They probably didn’t say that last part.

At last he relented, but he didn’t want to be alone with Clare, so he insisted they be chaperoned by several sisters and brothers. Clare arrived at the Portiuncula (the “little portion,” a tiny church he had also rebuilt that became the center of the Franciscan movement). The sisters and brothers laid out a simple meal and Francis and Clare began to pray.

Meanwhile, up the hill in Assisi, people looked down at the Portiuncula and saw flames that seemed to be consuming the little church. Alarmed, the townspeople came running down the hill with buckets of water to put out the fire. When they arrived, however, the flames they saw was a spiritual, not a physical, fire coming from the divine rapture of these two saints and soulmates.

They never did get to eat the food, so great was their spiritual meal!

Here are a few opportunities to bring more love and growth into your life, at the following longer events led by Barry and Joyce Vissell:

Jul 21-26, 2019 — Shared Heart Summer Retreat at Breitenbush Hot Springs, OR

Sep 24-30, 2019 — Assisi Retreat, Italy

Feb 11-16, 2020 — The Couples Journey, Aptos

Jun 7-14, 2020 — Shared Heart Alaska Cruise, leaving from Seattle

Joyce & Barry Vissell, a nurse/therapist and psychiatrist couple since 1964, are counselors near Santa Cruz, CA, who are widely regarded as among the world's top experts on conscious relationship and personal growth. They are the authors of eight books, including two new books, To Really Love a Woman and To Really Love a Man.

Call 831-684-2299 for further information on counseling sessions by phone or in person, their books, recordings or their schedule of talks and workshops. Visit their web site at SharedHeart.org for their free monthly e-heartletter, their updated schedule, and inspiring past articles on many topics about relationship and living from the heart.

Related Articles

Let us first see, what is “spiritual” and personal development. A so-called spiritual person develops himself as soul or has a soul, both false–we are not souls and we don’t have souls, while a personal person develops his personality.

The first one lives spiritual life and prepares for the spiritual afterlife. The second one just lives and doesn’t prepare for anything.

The spiritual person is engaged in spiritual themes as god and devil, soul, afterlife, spiritual powers, and is a religious believer or spiritual man or woman, of course.

Here we have all the religions, spiritualities, mysticism, magics, and black magics, sorceries, shamanisms, New Age (explosive:) mix, etc. The main questions of the spiritual development are how the god or the Creator or the Source created the “Creation”, who we are, what we do here and where we will go after death.

The main questions in the religions are how to strictly obey the bibles, how to be guilty and ashamed as much as possible, how to learn to bow as low as possible, how to god-fearingly kneel, how to properly serve the Lord, and how to pray for His mercy.

The mentioned themes are more or the most important ones in the spiritual life, while the so-called material life and financial success are less or not important at all.

There are transitions from one way to another, mostly from the material to the spiritual. Some that don’t succeed in the material life and don’t get rich until the 30, they jump over to the kingdom of heaven and seek the “wealth” in the spiritual life.


From “greed is good” to the “greener pastures of my Lord, Saviour, and Shepard”:) Crucefixing the sinful body, singing hallelujah and praying “God, provide.”:)

In the spiritual field, there are professionals and amateurs. First, live in the religious organized hierarchy, they have a title, uniform, and duties. Usually, they are monks and nuns and live in monasteries or in religious institutions. They live alone in the celibate, and they don’t have a sexual life. So they say:)

The amateurs live a civil life and spirituality is their hobby. Meditation 10 minutes 3 times a week. Many spiritual amateurs are still drinking and drugging, lying and stealing, they confess and repent and sin again:)

On the other side, ordinary personal development is the development of personal characteristics of people who are not religious. In most cases, it’s connected to the psychological theories and practices of personal development.

The main goal of psychological personal development is a functionality or the ability to live an independent life. For psychologists is most important, that a person is employed and works, and he gets paid. That doesn’t mean that unemployed are undeveloped, though …:)

Psychological personal development includes education, workshops for the development of talents, hobbies, sport, recreation, and a healthy life.

These persons are not necessarily “material” and they don’t fight for financial success. Those who do, they have only one goal, to get rich. They are ready to do everything to become rich, including lying, stealing and killing.

This division to the “spiritual” and “material” is false, forced and useless. In fact, it’s karmicons division to religious believers and nonbelievers. With the simple fact that incarnants live one life as believers and the next one as nonbelievers. When they are believers, they believe in life in god, the next one in the devil and the third one in black cats:)

There are many theories about the “spiritual” or personal development with their own explanations who is developed and who is not. For the religious believers, it’s enough that you are a believer and you are automatically spiritually developed.

In fact, neither one - “spiritual” and “material” are not personally developed.

Before I present you my list, let me tell you, that in the near future this false division will be gone. Soon, all religions will be ended, and the work, as the main value and base for the psychological development won’t have any value at all. With replicators and free food and other things, the economy of today will disappear as well.

People won’t work for survival anymore. They will create, but not for the money, but for their pleasure and the benefit of all. There will be some money exchanging in the transition period, later on, we will end the money too.


I use the therm personal development for the activities and exercises with which we become aware that we are Beings of Pure Awareness. As awakened ones, we express the natural characteristics of Pure Awareness, like Peace, Unity and Wholeness, Clarity, Transparency, Truthfulness and Integrity, Tenderness and Benevolence (they are the base for Love).

Awakening personal development is different from “spiritual” and “psychological” as it is based on the Awareness of the person. That is the answer to the question “Who am I?”. Our true identity is based on the Pure Awareness as we are Beings of Pure Awareness – we are Aware Beings.

This personal development is not institutionalized and religious and is free from “Cosmis Laws”, the Prosecutor and Judge, Church and monks and nuns. In awakening, there are no commandments, bans, and punishments. A person is awakening alone or in the company of equal, equivalent and free people, and he is not superior or inferior to no one.

He doesn’t go to a cave, on the mountain or in the monastery to evolve, he develops living his life, releases all harmful behaviors, awakens and lives as Being of Pure Awareness.

Another difference between “spiritual” and psychological personal development is that the awakening ends with the stabilization. As we know there are people who are spiritual their all life and they are still undeveloped, hostile and harmful to others.

After we move from the false, shattered and harmful Ego personality, we stabilize in the Pure Awareness, and we stop practicing. We live as awakened and we express our natural characteristics of Pure Awareness.

A: Who is not personally developed? He, who:

1. Is self Important – he thinks that he is more worthy than others, is narcissistically bragging, underestimating, subordinating and abusing others. He acts as the Master.

2. Is Pity one – he thinks that he is less worthy than others, he pities himself and complaining about everything. He is the Victim.

3. Lives in fear are unsettled and lost. He feels anxiety and has panic attacks or is strongly worried. Even without the obvious reasons.

4. Is sad and mourns, is lonely, misses other people and things and is disappointed.

5. Lies manipulates and cheats.

6. Is violent in thoughts, words – anger, curse, threatens, etc, emotions and actions – limits, fights, forces, and rapes.

7. Is addicted to people, substances, actions, and objects. Drinks alcohol, smokes and drugs. In any amount and for any reason.

8. Steals.

9. Is lazy, greedy, corrupted, envy, resentful, vengeful, hurtful, jealous, gossiping, ashamed, pessimistic, ironic, cynic and sarcastic, two-faced and heinous, selfish, arrogant, bluffing and posing, offended and affected, hating him and others, nationalistic, chauvinistic and racistic, competing to be better than others etc.

10. Is not able to use the mind deliberately. Thoughts are always running and jumping in his head, and despite that, they are upsetting and frightening him, he can’t stop them.

If you have only one of the listed harmful behaviors, you are not personally developed. You are not yet Aware who you really are and you still harm your self and others. In invite you to start evolving. You will be amazed by your true Beauty as the Being of Pure Awareness, Love and Wisdom.


B: Who is personally developed? He, who:

1. Released all shattered partial personalities and their harmful behaviors or Ego as false and harmful personality, awakened and stabilized. He is One and Whole.

2. Doesn’t dramatize and problematize himself, others and the Life. He doesn’t see Life as a problem and he doesn’t solve It. He lives It as It is in truth, as Life.

3. Is Aware that he is Aware Being and he lives as Being of Pure Awareness.

4. Is not reactive anymore. Awakened is always Peaceful and Joyful regardless of the events and other people. Nobody can provoke, upset or anger him.

5. Is a Source of Love and he expresses it by will whenever he wants.

6. Is honest, speak the truth, only the truth and nothing but the truth.

7. Is nice, friendly and benevolent, always, everywhere and to everybody.

8. Is completely free. He is not addicted to objects, substances, people or actions. He is freely floating in the Pure Awareness.

9. Can use the mind as any other tool. If he wants to think, he uses it, when he finishes, he stops it. Most of the time, and for many hours, he lives in perfect inner silence, which is his natural state. Without any effort or exercise.

10. Is a Being of Wisdom, and acts for the best to all, and wishes all the best to all.


If you have all the characteristics above, Bravo!, you are personally developed. If you have only one or more, you are evolving. Go on!

I suggest that you print both of the lists, stick them on the wall and roll up your sleeves:)

Let me also mention the so-called spiritual activities like yoga, meditation, mindfulness, concentration – for example starring in the candle, singing, and dancing, affirmations, mantras, and prayers, calling the spirits, readings, etc.

Some of them can benefit you as a preparation for the real personal development. Using only them, you won’t develop.

The same goes for Buddhism. I know that many think that Buddhists are very spiritually developed, but they are not.

Buddha mixed up two Things that are not mixable:) They are the Awareness and the Energy.

Buddha claimed, that Everything that exists, is coming out from the Mind or the Consciousness. He said that the Energy – beings, and planets are coming out from the Mind or the Consciousness, change and then go back to the Emptiness of the Mind or the Consciousness and they disappear there.

That is not true.

Awareness is Awareness and Energy is Energy. Energy includes all material worlds. They don’t mix together, let alone that one is disappearing in another. The Existence was never created, so there is no “Source”, from which anything would come out in getting back into it.

The Existence is eternal and Everything is all the time at its place. We have limited perception and we think that things are appearing, changing and disappearing while in fact, they are all the time at their places. They don’t change and they don’t disappear.

Buddhism can benefit you as a preparation for a real development. You have to release it to start truly develop. If you are a Buddhist, I invite you to check my words. Practice my exercises for the awakening for 3 months and you will see the difference.

Let me tell you before the end, that the karmicons wrote the script for your life, in fact for your incarnant, and not you. They also wrote that your incarnant will live “spiritual” or “material” life. The karmicons don’t write scripts so our incarnants and we would “spiritually” or personally develop. They force them and us to live in limitations, which are causing us suffering. When we suffer, we produce negative energy which they use as food.

Our team is already changing their scripts and we are ending their violence. We are very successful on the planet Palki. We have changed most of their scripts. We will do the same on Earth.

Every time when you move to the Pure Awareness, you immediately exit the karmic script as they didn’t write it. They want us to be unaware, ignorant, mind-less and violent, so they can abuse us.

I suggest you try it right now, exit and change the karmic script for a bit. Let's go. Become aware that you are alive, and that you are here. Then move your attention to this Awareness. Become Aware that you are Aware. Now, you are in your natural state of Pure Awareness. You will notice that your mind stopped in a second. You will become Aware of the perfect Peace and immediately feel much better and pleasant.

I invite you to personally develop and evolve, release your partial personalities and their harmful behaviors. With the exercises for the awakening from the 1. Book of Letters to Palkies, you can get it on Amazon:

You can read the basic exercises for the awakening in my article How to become Wonderful Being of Pure Awareness on:

I also invite you to subscribe to my free awakening newsletter for personal, partnership and family development, and you will get 2 nice gifts: First day you will get a free e-book Where are Don Juan and Carlos Castaneda? The next day you will get the superb exercises for awakening and releasing your harmful partial personalities or false Ego personality.

Subscribe here:

You are very welcome.

All the best to all.


P.s. Question and answer. Do I have to release the religion to truly personally evolve? Yes, sooner the better:) 

At Mass when I was a kid we said, "I am not worthy. I am not worthy. I am not worthy." Without realizing it, I learned shame and self-hate. I maintained a low level depression throughout much of my youth. I thought that was what I was supposed to do. Even today at my lowest moments I hear the words, "I am sorry I’m not good enough."

Immediately, I catch myself and yell "Stop!" I cannot afford to deny myself. It’s not fair to me and it’s not fair to God. When I deny myself I deny God. God needs me. This all powerful omniscient being needs me in order to express on earth. What a kick that is!

I had thought that my life was about pleasing God (or at least trying to earn her approval) but that basically She was ill-tempered and irascible. I thought I was meant to work and strive and suffer until I could squeeze a blessing from her. I used my brain to devise beneficial deeds that would justify a spot in her good graces.

Now I see that thinking and creating worthwhile projects and doing good works is another way to deny God. When I rely upon my head and make decisions based upon my thoughts, I make my brain God. Whatever is the basis for our decisions is our God.

When I want to know God and hear from God, I maintain silence and I wait. I imagine that God lives inside me in my very center as a tiny flame. I can breathe into that center space and pay attention and listen and, thus, I allow God. God is. When I pay attention I experience God. That experience is momentary. I don’t know in advance what I will find. I say, "I am available" and then I wait and I pay attention and I allow.

God moves in me and through me. God is a verb. In the first part of my life God was a judge and a critic. Now God is creativity and passion and involvement. God moves and I don’t know why or how or when. My job is to pay attention and try to keep up. I follow as I’m led. I sit in the back seat and appreciate the perfection of each moment. I’m not driving the car and I don’t know where I’m going. And isn’t that exciting?!

My spiritual life is an adventure. No one has ever lived my life and no one else ever will. There isn’t a right way to be me. Now, in the second half of life, I allow God to peek through and speak through me. I remember that wherever I am, God is. And I allow.

Isn’t it time that we move beyond religion and rules and belief into honest spirituality which is based on personal experience? Religion offers community which feels comforting and guidelines for behavior which build character. But true spirituality requires an adult’s presence to her own experience. Thinking about what an authority tells us is, at best, a jumping off point for us to assume our own authority.

Developing your personal spirituality means that you choose to participate with Life as an adult. You own your responsibility not only for your behavior but for your thoughts and for conflicts lying just below your awareness. You know that at your core you are a spiritual being having a human experience. You accept that this lifetime is a gift for you to learn some truths and, wisely, you surrender. You know that change is constant and you release your hold on everything, appreciating in this moment what you have been given but not demanding that it continue.

The emphasis is on attending. What am I supposed to learn from this frustration? What is my lesson in losing what I had loved? How am I gifted by the obstacles that block my hoped-for path? We pay attention to the details of our lives in a non-proprietary way.

Through our surrender we see pattern in our experience. We learn to listen to Life and to trust its tugs. We notice that we are asked to submit and to receive. We practice presence. We experience everything, inside and outside, and we release it. We practice gratitude, especially for what we don’t like. ‘Thank you for the opportunity to learn patience while I sit at this red light.’ ‘Thank you for showing me the part of myself I hate in another whom I find irritating.’

A Spirituality of Your Own

And we notice that the details of the day lead us deeper within ourselves. When we pay attention to what happens to us, we are led to what happens within us. We learn more by observing than by attempting to direct.

When we appreciate the unity of the outside world and the inside world, then we truly experience our own spirituality. Spirituality is oneness. It isn’t light and joy and beauty and otherworldly music. It’s the baby crying and the cat messing on the new carpet and the car that stops on the freeway and the job that doesn’t materialize. And it’s saying, “Yes, thank you. Now show me the next step.”

When we embrace our spirituality we say “Yes” to everything that happens because we know that we are one with everything. Our lifetime is not an opportunity to run our will. We are not on earth to see what we can make of ourselves. When we accept Life as an adventure and know that we are the students, then we open to learn. Openness, attention, and surrender are the hallmarks of a mature spirituality.

About Author -

Ruth Cherry, PhD

Ruth is the author of Living in the Flow: Practicing Vibrational Alignment, Accepting Unconditional Love, Transformation Workbook, and Open Your Heart.

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