St. Frances of Rome: Patron of Christian Wives, Automobile Drivers, and Widows

•Feast day: March 9
•Born and Died: 1384-1440

Saint Frances was born in Rome of a aristocratic family in 1384.Despite wanting to become a nun, she married Lorenzo Ponziano at the age of 13 out of deference to her parents. In their forty years of married life there was never any disagreements between them. She led a life of prayer and sacrifice, visiting the ill and helping the needy. She gave birth to three children named John Baptist, Evangelist, and Agnes, whom she educated in the Christian faith.

Frances persevered through many hardships with grace and faith, such as the kidnapping of young John and the early deaths of Evangelist and Agnes. She treated her daughter-in-law Mobilia with kindness and patience when Mobilia had previously treated her with disdain.

Frances established the Oblate Congregation of Tor de Specchi in 1425 with the dual goals of aiding the poor and worshiping God. She adopted the religious habit and lived in the community as the lowest-ranking sister following the death of her husband. She passed away in 1440 and was buried in Rome’s Santa Maria Nuova church, which was renamed after her.