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Saint Frances of Rome


The noble Roman matron Frances desired at the age of eleven to consecrate her virginity to God, but humbly yielded obedience to the wishes of her parents, and was married to a wealthy young nobleman named Lawrence di Pontiani. With him she had forty years of holy and happy married life, and to him she bore several children. For children were a favour she asked from God, that she might bring them up as children of God. She was as faithful to her wifely duties as to divine claims, and therefore had great influence for good amongst the married women of Rome, many of whom she turned to holy living. To this end, with the help of a sister-in-law whom she dearly loved, she founded a company of Benedictine Oblates, who gave themselves to works of charity and devotion.

She and her husband suffered greatly from ill-health, political persecution, the loss of their wealth, and the death of their children. Frances also suffered many things from her ill-natured daughter-in-law Nobilia, but in time won her to better ways. After her husband's death, she entreated the Oblates to receive her into their number. When she had obtained her wish, although she was the mother of them all, she gloried to be amongst them only as one that served. The enemy of man assailed her with divers reproaches and great interior temptations, but always she persevered in gentleness, patience, and prayer, and God comforted her.

She was one of the succession of holy women who was inspired of God to help forward the growing devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. And it is said that after the bereavement occasioned by the death of her daughter, she was rewarded thenceforth with the familiar converse of her Guardian Angel. Famous for good works and wonders, she departed to the Lord in the fifty-sixth year of her age, on March 9th, in 1440. She was canonized in 1608, and is known for her life of great devotion and penance, which was without singularity or excess, whereby she became a most excellent exemplar of holy matronhood.


O GOD, who amidst the manifold gifts of thy grace didst endue thy blessed servant Frances with the familiar converse of an Angel: grant, we beseech thee; that at her intercession we may be found worthy to be admitted to the company of the Angels in thy heavenly kingdom. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

The Anglican Breviary, Frank Gavin Liturgical Foundation, Inc., New York, 1955, pages 1131-1132

Additional Information:

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