29 Feb

St Frances of Rome, Widow; Memorial: March 9

Frances was a noble Roman matron who at eleven had resolved to enter a convent, but complied with her parents’ will that she marry the young and rich noble, Lorenzo Ponziani. In marriage, she always observed the austerities of the religious life as far as possible, and her patience in adversities was admirable. She founded in the city the house of Oblates of the Congregation of Monte Oliveto under the Benedictine rule, to recall the married women of Rome from worldly pleasures and dress.

Recalling the married women of Rome from worldly pleasures and dress

After her husband’s death she humbly begged admittance there and after receiving it gloried in calling herself everybody’s servant and the least of women even though, as the founder of the whole community she was the mother of them all. She invariably baffled the never-idle devil and won a great victory over him with her guardian angel’s help. She died at fifty-six, famous for good works and miracles. Pope Paul V added her to the list of the saints.

– From: An Approved Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964


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