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St. Frances of Rome

Saint Frances of Rome


Frances was born to a noble couple in Rome in the year of Our Lord 1384. She longed to become a nun, but when she was still very young her parents arranged her marriage to a wealthy nobleman named Laurence. Frances spent all the time she could in prayer and contemplation, avoiding the customary social life of a noblewoman, but she never shirked her duties to her husband or others, often repeating that a wife must serve God in household obligations as well as at the altar. She strove zealously to make saints of her husband, her children, and their servants. The marriage was one of great love and respect, and Laurence permitted Frances to take on the severe mortifications she desired. Later he even agreed to live continently, and allowed Frances to found a house of Benedictine oblates that still exists today. After her husband’s death, Frances joined the oblates herself and became their superior, passing away in 1440 after a life of voluntary and involuntary hardships, mystical visions and ecstasies, and great humility. Because an angel would often light her way in the dark, Frances is a patroness of motorists, as well as of widows.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for March 9th

AT Rome, St. Frances, a widow, renowned for her noble extraction, holiness of life, and the gift of miracles.

At Sebaste, in Armenia, under the governor Agricolaus, in the time of the emperor Licinius, the birthday of forty holy soldiers of Cappadocia. After being loaded with chains and confined in foul dungeons, after having their faces bruised with stones, and being condemned to spend the night naked, during the coldest part of winter, on a frozen lake, where their bodies were benumbed and laid open by the frost, they ended their martyrdom by having their limbs crushed. The noblest of them were Cyrion and Candidus. Their glorious triumph has been celebrated by St. Basil and other Fathers in their writings. Their feast is kept on the tenth of this month.

At Nyssa, the demise of St. Gregory, bishop, brother of blessed Basil the Great, whose life and erudition have rendered him illustrious. He was expelled from his own city for having defended the Catholic faith during the reign of the Arian emperor Valens.

At Barcelona, in Spain, the bishop St. Pacian, distinguished by his life and preaching. He ended his career in extreme old age, in the time of the emperor Theodosius.

In Moravia, the saintly bishops Cyril and Methodius, who brought to the faith of Christ many nations in those regions with their kings. Leo XIII prescribed that their feast should be celebrated on the seventh of July.

At Bologna, St. Catherine, virgin, of the Order of St. Clare, illustrious by the holiness of her life. Her body is greatly honored in that city.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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