The beautiful daughter of a wealthy and illustrious family of Rome, Saint Frances was born in 1384; and while still very young was married to Lawrence de Pontians, with whom she lived in most happy and harmonious union for forty years. Her beauty was surpassed only by her loveliness of character. * She fulfilled with holy fervor her duties as a wife and mother; dressed with great simplicity; and preferred prayer and good works to worldly entertainments and spectacles. Her charming example induced many noble houses to model their rule of life on hers. When Lawrence de Pontians died, she retired to the religious congregation of the Oblates, which she had founded, and died there in 1440.
PRAYER TO SAINT FRANCES OF ROME
in Frances of Rome
you have given us
a unique example of love in marriage
as well as in religious life.
Keep us faithful in your service,
and help us to see and follow you
in all the aspects of life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.
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, God, for ever and ever.
Prayer to St. Frances of Rome (Can be said as a Novena for 9 Consecutive Days)
Bright jewel of the Order of Saint Benedict, illustrious Saint Frances of Rome, thou who wast led by divine Providence through various stations in life, that thou mightest be a pattern of every virtue, to maidens, to matrons and to widows, pray for us to our divine Savior that we may be detached from the vanities of the world and may be able, under the guiding hand of our Guardian Angel, to grow daily in the love of God, of His Church and of our neighbor, and finally to be made partakers in heaven of the Felicity.
O Frances! sublime model of every virtue! thou wast the glory of Christian Rome, and the ornament of thy sex. How insignificant are the pagan heroines of old compared with thee! Thy fidelity to the duties of thy state, and all thy saintly actions, had God for their one single end and motive. The world looked on thee with amazement, as though heaven had lent one of its Angels to this earth. Humility and penance put such energy into thy soul, that every trial was met and mastered. Thy love for those whom God Himself had given thee, thy calm resignation and interior joy under tribulation, thy simple and generous charity, to every neighbour,–all was evidence of God’s dwelling within thy soul. Thy seeing and conversing with thy Angel Guardian, and the wonderful revelations granted thee of the secrets of the other world,–how much these favours tell us of thy merits? Nature suspended her laws at thy bidding; she was subservient to thee, as to one that was already face to face with the Sovereign Master, and had the power to command. We admire these privileges and gifts granted thee by our Lord; and now beseech thee to have pity on us, who are so far from being in that path, in which thou didst so perseveringly walk.
Pray for us, that we may be Christians, practically and earnestly; that we may cease to love the world and its vanities; that we may courageously take up the yoke of our Lord, and do penance; that we may give up our pride; that we may be patient and firm under temptation. Such was thy influence with our Heavenly Father, that thou hadst but to pray, and a vine produced the richest clusters of fruit, even in the midst of winter. Our Jesus calls Himself the True Vine; ask Him to give us of the wine of His divine love, which His Cross has so richly prepared for us. When we remember how frequently thou didst ask Him to let thee suffer, and accept thy sufferings for poor sinners, we feel encouraged to ask thee to offer thy merits to Him for us. Pray, too, for Rome, thy native city, that her people may be staunch to the faith, edifying by holiness of life, and loyal to the Church. May thy powerful intercession bring blessings on the Faithful throughout the world, add to their number, and make them fervent as were our fathers of old.
NOVENA TO SAINT FRANCES OF ROME.
V. O almighty and eternal God,
R. In Saint Frances of Rome
You have given us a model of holiness,
in married life and of monastic conversion.
By Your hand-maid’s aid,
may we know, love and serve You
with all perseverance and fortitude,
so that in all circumstances,
we may fix our gaze upon You alone,
follow Your Only-begotten Son,
and faithfully carry our cross with gratitude.
V. O glorious Saint Frances of Rome,
R. By the abundant merits you gained by suffering for Christ and His Church,
and through your powerful intercession,
help us gain that knowledge
which discerns the difference between our own malevolent will
and the holy will of God.
Help us gain the wisdom to abhor our own self-love
and instead desire what God desires.
V. Bright Jewel of the Order of Saint Benedict,
R. Illustrious Saint Frances of Rome,
you who was led by divine Providence through various stations in life,
that you might be a patron of every virtue,
to maidens, to matrons and to widows,
pray for us to our divine Savior
that we may be detached from the vanities of the world
and may be able, under the guiding hand of our Guardian Angel,
to grow daily in the love of God,
of His Church and of our neighbor,
and finally, to be made partakers in heaven of your felicity.
V. In particular we ask of you St. Frances, that by your selfless intercession…
(Here mention the spiritual or temporal favor you desire…)
V. Pray for us, O Saint Frances of Rome,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
V. Let us pray.
O God, who among other gifts of Your grace
did honour blessed Frances, Your hand-maid,
with the familiar companionship of an angel,
grant, we beseech You,
that by the help of her intercession
we may deserve to attain the company of angels.
Through Christ our Lord.