Thursday, March 09, 2017

Saint Frances of Rome ~ March 9

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“Hope every thing from the mercy of God; it is as boundless as His power.”
–Saint Frances of Rome
This quote is taken from an anecdote in The Life of Saint Frances of Rome. Saint Frances (b. AD 1384, d. AD 1440) was an amazing holy woman who was married 40 years and then became foundress of a religious order after her husband died. It is said that during 40 years of marriage, she and her husband never once had a disagreement.

Here is the context of the above quote:
“Cecca Clarelli, a relation of the Ponziani, is delivered of a little girl in such apparent good health that no one thinks of baptizing her; a grand ceremony for the purpose is preparing in a neighboring church, to take place the following day; but in the middle of the night Francesca arrives, and entreats that the child may be instantly baptised. The parents and the priest object, but the Saint is urgent; she will take no denial; with reluctance her request is complied with, and no sooner has the sacrament been conferred than the infant expires. 
"A child of the same parents, a lovely little girl, is dumb; she is four years old, and not a single word has she ever pronounced. Andreozzo, her father, entreats his wife to carry her to the Saint, and implore her assistance. Francesca's humility cannot endure this direct appeal, and she tries to put them off; but, deeply affected by their tears, she at last touches with her finger the tongue of the little Camilla, and says, "Hope every thing from the mercy of God; it is as boundless as His power." The parents depart full of faith and comfort; and ere they reach their house, the child has uttered with perfect distinctness the blessed names of Jesus and Mary; and from that day forward acquires and retains the power of speech.” 
Click here to read the full Life of St. Frances of Rome by Lady Georgiana Fullerton on Archive.org. A shorter summary of her life may be found here: St. Frances of Rome, Catholic Encyclopedia at NewAdvent.org.

The image is a detail taken from a painting by 17th century artist Giovan Battista Gaulli entitled: Santa Francesca Romana which shows the saint distributing food to the poor. Click here to see the entire painting. It's quite beautiful.

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