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St. Frances of Rome 

Widow

Feast Day - March 9

St. Frances, who was to become a noble Roman matron, had resolved at the age of eleven to consecrate her virginity to God and enter a convent; but in obedience to her parents she married Lorenzo Ponziani, a wealthy young nobleman.

In the married state she observed, as far as it was lawful for her to do so, the austerities of the stricter life she had intended to lead; and her endurance in adversities was wonderful to see. To counteract the trend toward worldly display and vanity among the married women of Rome, she founded a house for Oblates in the City, under the rule of St. Benedict as observed in the congregation of Monte Oliveto.

When her husband died, she retired immediately to this house and begged humbly to become a member of the community. Her petition was granted, and she was made superior of the group, but she preferred to call herself the handmaid of all and the most worthless of women. She thwarted the tricks by which the devil kept trying to entice her, and with the help of her guardian Angel turned every temptation into the occasion of a glorious triumph.

Renowned for her virtues and miracles, she journeyed to the Lord at the age of fifty-six. Pope Paul V added her name to the list of the saints.  


Taken from The Hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin, Vol. I: Advent to Passion Sunday (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1963), pp. 1820-1821.

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Link to Epistle and Gospel for March 9