St. Frances of Rome, A Heavy-Hitter at an Important Time

O God, who have given to us in Saint Frances of Rome a singular model of both married and monastic life, grant us perseverance in your service, that in every circumstance of life we may see and follow you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. — Collect from today’s Mass

Today is the feastday of Saint Frances of Rome, particularly beloved by me because she was a wife and mother who lived monasticism within her station — she is a Patron Saint of Benedictine Oblates — and she is (informally but affectionately) one of the patrons of Rome along with my dear Saint Philip Neri. Seems wonderful to me that her memorial falls during a time of prayer for the church, and her future, and while all eyes are turned to Rome.

That’s a picture of her relics, taken in Rome in 2010, and this is why you never let me near a camera; like me, everything I shoot is fuzzy and slightly tilted.

Bearing Blog has a nice post up on the life of Francesca, who was a kind of Mother Teresa of her day. The little community of devout women Frances founded in the 15th century still thrives at Santa Maria Nova, which is the titular church of Cardinal Angelo Sodano, who is not to be confused with the papabile Cardinal Angelo Scola.

St. Frances is also considered the patroness of drivers, particularly in heavy traffic. There is a tradition of blessing taxis, at her church, on this day. And their riders. :-)

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  • Bridget Green

    Having ridden in an Italian taxi, I completely understand the need for a blessing. In all seriousness though, I love her too, because she reminds us that, “A married woman must often leave God at the altar to find Him in her household care.”

  • Chris K

    Thanks so much for posting. This is just so interesting to me- my nom de plume would have Frances as the middle name, and I didn’t know why, until now- she must be looking out for me and my family (especially my wayward son) – today is her feast day and it’s my birthday. I am sad to think that I didn’t pay her that much attention, seeing her name on the Catholic calendar year after year. Much to think and pray about.