Today is the feast of one of my favorite saints, St. Frances of Rome (+1440).
Young Frances married into the Ponziani family, whose medieval palazzo is still in Trastevere. When I moved to Rome many years ago I first lived there in that palazzo. Therein is a chapel in the place where she died. It is a nice place to stay in Rome, by the way.
She has a place in my life, for sure.
At the death of her husband she founded a convent of Benedictine nuns, Oblates of the Benedictine Congregation of Monte Oliveti, headquartered in the nearby Tor di Specchi. This convent is open once a year, today, for the public to enjoy. St. Francis body is in the church in the Roman Forum called S. Maria Nova al Foro Romano.
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, “With her husband’s consent Frances practiced continence, and advanced in a life of contemplation. Her visions often assumed the form of drama enacted for her by heavenly personages. She had the gift of miracles and ecstasy, (as) well as the bodily vision of her guardian angel, had revelations concerning purgatory and hell, and foretold the ending of the Western Schism. She could read the secrets of consciences and detect plots of diabolical origin. She was remarkable for her humility and detachment, her obedience and patience[.]”
During life she was reknowned for her works of mercy and even miraculous healings.
St. Frances, pray for us.
Here is her entry from the Martyrologium Romanum:
Sanctae Franciscae, religiosae, quae, adulescentula nupta, in matrimonio quadraginta annos vixit, uxor et materfamilias probata, pietate, humiltate et patientia admirabilis. Temporibus calamitosis, bona sua paurperibus distribuit, aegrotis ministravit et, coniuge defuncto, inter oblatas, quas sub Regula santi Benedicti Romae congregaverat, secessit.
Who wants to take a crack at it?