The Servant of God, Mother Clara Žižić

Servant of God Mother Clare Žižić
(Promina, 1626 – Šibenik, 21.IX.1706)
The foundress of the Congregation of
the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate

Servant of God Mother Clare Žižić, baptized Mara, the foundress of the monastery of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, an authentic Croatian religious community, marking its beginning in Šibenik, in 1673, currently called the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate, or the Franciscan Sisters of Šibenik.

The time in which she lived was marked by the horrors of the Ottoman conquest and devastation, the all-out misery of the people, spiritual, moral and material, as well as the constant threat of Islamization. She spent the majority of her life in her native Promina, the parish which includes a number of villages in the Dalmatia Hinterland (Dalmatinska zagora), between Knin and Drniš. In the circumstances of the cruel Ottoman rule, when it was very difficult to keep the faith of the people, Mara Žižić took the vow of virginity and consecrated herself completely to God. She devoted herself to teaching the faith and caring for the people in close cooperation with the Franciscans from the Province of Bosnia Argentina. The role of Sister Clare was particularly significant in Promina in the long period from 1648 to 1672, during the complete absence of the Franciscans from the area. She stayed in Promina at the cost of her own life with the remainder of the people, who in the organized movement in 1648 did not move to the area by the sea, which was under the rule of the Venetian Republic.

After the peace treaty in Candia between the Ottoman Empire and the Venetian Republic was signedin 1669, and the borders established in late 1671, Mara Žižić came to Šibenik in 1673 at “the invitation of the inhabitants of the city of Šibenik”, and settled in a small and meager house in the Varoš of Šibenik. Thereshe chose her place among the most vulnerable and unprotected, outside the city walls, who were settled here to escape the Ottomans, and near a lazaret to for lepers and other infectious patients. Upon receiving her religious habit together with Sister Seraphina Burmaz, with the approval of the then Bishop of Šibenik Ivan Dominik Callegari, on 17 November 1679, she began her religious life according to the Rule of the Third Order of St. Francis, confirmed by Pope Leo X. According to the Rule she committed herself to fostering unity, poverty and penance. As a special expression of the penitential life of the first sisters, written records about her and her sisters emphasize their humility and poverty with begging, regularly associated with the works of charity. Everything she received she shared with the needy. In her hospice, she expressed hospitality and provided accommodations to poor travelers and their animals who came to the city, and she helped the sick and the dying.  

With her unconditional commitment to Jesus Christ and the Church, her rich sacramental life and special veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary, she was an active evangelizer and a light to everyone she encountered. That is why, when she died, it was written that the entire city and Varoš mourned for her because under the holy habit, like a candle, she had shined with humility and good deeds. In another place, they wrote about her and Sister Seraphina that they had become a mirror of the place where they lived, especially Clare, who, by faithfully observing the Rule of her Order, the commandments of God and the teachings of the Church, as well as the works of charity, had distinguis hed herself with a sacred, even most sacred life. She died as saintly as she lived on September 21, 1706 in the odor of sanctity. She was buried in her own tomb in the church of St. Lawrence in Šibenik.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
our sister and mother Clare,
inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit,
served you with faithfulness and good works.
We implore Thee: by your merciful will,
reveal to us and to the whole Church,
that through her devoted service to Your Kingdom
she sought above all to serve you,
that she graciously grew in faith, love and hope,
and that now and forever she enjoys the blessed union with Thee,
our Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Through the intercession of Mother Clare
grant me the favor for which I earnestly pray.
Our Father, Hail Mary, three times Glory Be.

The prayer can be recited every day or as a triduum and novena.
Whoever receives a spiritual favor or physical healing, or a special grace through the intercession of the Servant of God Mother Clare Žižić, please contact us at the following address:

Postulatura službenice Božje majke Klare Žižić, Kuća matica,
(The Postulate of the Servant of God Mother Clare Žižić, Mother House)
Ulica majke Klare Žižić 6, HR-22000 ŠIBENIK, Croatia
Tel. 00 385 (22) 201-040 or 201-044;