(FRANCISCA) (Saint) Widow. (March 9) (15th century) The Foundress of the Oblates of Tor dei Specchi in Rome. Saint Frances was born A.D. 1384, and married Lorenzo Ponziani, A.D. 1396. Favoured by God with a high gift of absorbing prayer, she nevertheless acted on her own axiom: “A wife is bound to leave her devotions at the Altar and to find God in her household work.” A model to the Roman matrons of her time, she did much to correct their luxurious and idle manner of life. She faithfully stood by her husband in bis troubles and exile; but after his death (A.D. 1436), joined as a humble member of the community, the Institute of the Oblates, which she herself had founded. The remaining four years of her life she passed among the Sisters in severe penance and fervent exercises of piety. She was favoured with continual visions of Angels, and only intermitted her prayer to work for the poor of Rome. Veneration of her became general from the date of her death (March 9, A.D. 1440), but she was not formally canonised till A.D. 1608. Her shrine in the Olivetan Church of Saint Maria Novella is one of the most frequented in Rome.
- Monks of Ramsgate. “Frances”. , 1921. CatholicSaints.Info. 5 May 2013. Web. 29 May 2015. <>