Monday, March 9, 2009

St. Frances of Rome: A Saint for the Ordinary Woman

"Woman Holding a Balance" by Johannes Vermeer

"It is most laudable in a married woman to be devout, but she must never forget that she is a housewife. And sometimes she must leave God at the altar to find Him in her housekeeping."
~ St. Frances of Rome

Today, we celebrate the life of a wonderful saint whose beautiful life lay not in great deeds or asceticism but in small, everday, unfailing sacrifice for others. St. Frances of Rome (1384-1440) wanted to live the religious life but her parents refused and she was married to a nobleman. With her husband's blessing, she and her sister-in-law, who had also wanted to be a nun, spent much time devoting themselves to the poor. Once the young wives bore children, they were convicted to turn much of their energy and efforts inward, spending their devotion largely on their families rather than public ministry. It wasn't until years later when, tragically, her children had died from the plague, that Frances again began living more like a religious, devoting herself more extensively to the care of the poor, even selling all she had in order to care for plague victims. She also turned a wing of her grand house into a hospital. Still, she remained faithfully with her husband until his death, at which time she finally entered the convent life to live in religious community. St. Frances allowed God to use her just where she was, though she might have desired another life. She trusted that He had put this fire in her for a reason, and she waited on His perfect timing to finally grant her greatest wish.

1 comment:

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