Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 9 March – St Frances of Rome (1384-1440) Widow

Saint of the Day – 9 March – St Frances of Rome Obl.S.B. (1384-1440) Widow, Founder, Wife, Mother, Mystic, Organiser of charitable services and a Benedictine Oblate who founded a religious community of Oblates, who share a common life without religious vows.

Saint Frances of Rome, Widow
From the Liturgical Year, 1870

Frances, a noble lady of Rome, led a most virtuous life, even in her earliest years. She despised all childish amusements and worldly pleasures, her only delight being solitude and prayer. When eleven years old, she resolved on consecrating her virginity to God and seeking admission into a Monastery. But she humbly yielded to the wishes of her parents and married a young and rich nobleman, by name Lorenzo Ponziani.

As far as it was possible, she observed, in the married state, the austerities of the more perfect life to which she had aspired. She carefully shunned theatrical entertainments, banquets and other such amusements. Her dress was of serge and extremely plain. Whatever time remained after she had fulfilled her domestic duties, was spent in prayer and works of charity. But her zeal was mainly exercised in endeavouring to persuade the ladies of Rome, to shun the world and vanity in dress. It was with a view to this, that she founded, during her husband’s life, the House of Oblates of the Congregation of Monte-Oliveto, under the Rule of St Benedict.

She bore her husband’s banishment, the loss of all her goods and the trouble which befel her whole family, not only with heroic patience but was frequently heard to give thanks, saying with holy Job: “The Lord hath given and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the Name of the Lord!”

At the death of her husband, she fled to the aforesaid House of Oblates and there, barefooted, with a rope tied around her neck and prostrate on the ground, she humbly and with many tears, begged admission. Her petition being granted, she, though mother of the whole community, gloried in calling herself everyone’s servant and a worthless woman and a vessel of dishonour. She evinced the contempt she had for herself by her conduct, as well as by her expressions. Thus, when returning from a vineyard in the suburbs, she would go through the city, sometimes carrying faggots on her head, sometimes driving an ass laden with them.

She looked after, and bestowed abundant alms upon the poor. She visited the sick in the hospitals and consoled them, not only with corporal food but with spiritual advice. She was untiring in her endeavours to bring her body into subjection, by watchings, fasting, wearing a hair-shirt and an iron girdle and by frequent disciplines. Her food, which she took but once in the day, consisted of herbs and pulse and her only drink was water. But she would somewhat relent in these corporal austerities, as often as she was requested to do so by her Confessor, whom she obeyed with the utmost exactitude.

Her contemplation of the Divine Mysteries and especially of the Passion, was made with such intense fervour and abundance of tears that she seemed as though she would die with grief. Frequently, too, when she was praying and above all, after Holy Communion, she would remain motionless, with her soul fixed on God and rapt in heavenly contemplation.

The enemy of mankind seeing this, endeavoured to frighten her out of so holy a life, by insults and blows but she feared him not, invariably baffled his attempts and, by the assistance of her Angel Guardian, whose visible presence was granted to her, she gained a glorious victory.

God favoured her with the gift of healing the sick, as also with that of prophecy, whereby she foretold future events and could read the secrets of hearts. More than once, when she was intent on prayer, either in the bed of a torrent, or during a storm of rain, she was not touched by the water. On one occasion, when all the bread they had was scarcely enough to provide a meal for three of the Sisters, she besought our Lord and he multiplied the bread so that after fifteen persons had eaten as much as they needed, there was sufficient left to fill a basket.

At another time, when the Sisters were gathering wood outside the City walls, in the month of January, she amply quenched their thirst by offering them bunches of fresh grapes, which she plucked from a vine and which she had miraculously obtained.

Her virtues and miracles procured for her the greatest veneration from all. Our Lord called her to Himself in the fifty-sixth year of her age and she was Canonised in 1384 by Pope Paul the Fifth.



Passionate Catholic. Being a Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site, which is now using the Traditional Calendar, will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. This Site is placed under the Patronage of my many favourite Saints and especially, St Paul. "For the Saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings. PLEASE ADVISE ME OF ANY GLARING TYPOS etc - In June 2021 I lost 95% sight in my left eye and sometimes miss errors. Thank you and I pray all those who visit here will be abundantly blessed. Pax et bonum! 🙏

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