March 9, 2016

March 9th: Optional Memorial of St. Frances of Rome

St. Frances of Rome
Frances was born in the city of Rome in 1384 to a wealthy, noble family. From her mother she inherited a quiet manner and a pious devotion to God. From her father, however, she inherited a strong will. She decided at eleven that she knew what God wanted for her – she was going to be a nun.

In the fifteenth century St. Frances, among the noble ladies of Rome, showed herself an example of what a Christian wife should be. After the death of her husband she retired from the world and lived in a monastery of Oblates that she had founded under the Rule of St. Benedict. God favored her with the visible presence of her guardian angel with whom she conversed familiarly.

Excerpted from Catholic.org and Catholic Culture.org.

The Life St. Frances of Rome

St. Frances of Rome founded the institute known as the "Oblati di Tor de Specchi" in the Holy City. She was a wealthy patrician and after her husband died, she gave up all her wealth to live a life of abject poverty. Her special privilege from heaven was familiar conversation with her guardian angel. Reading the life of St. Frances, one gains the impression that she moved and lived in the spiritual world more than on earth; in fact, that which gives her life its unique character is her intimate relationship with the blessed world of holy spirits.

During the three periods of her life, three angels of different rank accompanied her, ready to protect her soul against any onslaught of hell and to lead her step by step to spiritual perfection. Day and night the saint saw her angel busy at a mysterious task. With three little golden spindles he unceasingly spun golden threads, strung them around his neck, and diligently wound them into balls. A half year before her death he changed his work. Instead of spinning more golden thread, he began to weave three carpets of varying size with the golden thread he had spun. These carpets symbolized her lifework as virgin, mother, and religious.

Shortly before her death, she noticed how the angel was hurrying his work, and his face was unusually fresh and happy. At the very moment when the last carpet had reached its required length, her soul departed into eternal bliss.

Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Patron: automobile drivers, automobilists, cab or taxi drivers, death of children, lay people, motorists, people ridiculed for their piety, Roman housewives, widows.

Symbols: often depicted as a woman habited in black with a white veil, accompanied by her guardian angel, and sometimes carrying a basket of food; Nun with her guardian angel dressed as a deacon. Monstrance and arrow; book; angel with a branch of oranges; receiving the veil from the Christ Child in the arms of the Blessed Virgin.

[Invoke St. Frances' protection as you get into your car to drive.]

Collect Prayer

O God, who have given 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.

Prayer to St. Frances of Rome

Loving God, You are our protection and our light along life’s journey.
Through the intercession of Your beloved daughter, St. Frances of Rome,
please grant safety to all who travel our roads.
She herself was given the grace of angelic protection in all her travels;
we ask this same grace that our Guardian Angels may be
our constant help and defense.
Lord, we ask that through the care of St. Frances of Rome,
You may inspire all who drive to do so with utmost care.
May they soberly realize the great caution that must be used
to guard their own safety, the safety of all others
who share the road with them.
May special graces be given to new young drivers, that they may use extreme care while driving
and be guarded by Your divine protection. Amen

Short Prayer to St. Frances

St. Frances of Rome, help us to see the difference between what we want to do and what God wants us to do. Help us to discern what comes from our will and what comes from God's desire. Amen


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