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St. Frances of Rome

Frances was born in 1384 to a noble family in Rome. She wanted to be become a nun, but in obedience to her father, she married Lorenzo de’ Ponziani when she was only twelve. The couple had three children, but two of them died when young. Frances devoted herself to caring for the poor and to prayer. Several worldly wealthy women were converted by her example. She established an association of Benedictine oblates which became the Benedictine Oblate Congregation of Tor di Specchi in 1433; this group led the life of religious in a community, but without the strict enclosure or formal vows. With her husband’s blessing Frances devoted herself to celibacy. She had the gift of prophecy and during the last years of her life, she had a continual vision of her guardian angel at her side. After her husband died in 1336, Frances spent the rest of her life with the community she had founded and was made their superior. She died March 9, 1440 and was canonized in 1608. St. Frances of Rome’s feast is March 9.

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