Tuesday, March 9, 2010

St. Francesca of Rome

Wife, mother, and saint. According to Fr. Mark:
Francesca is best known for a sagacious remark, one that two centuries later Saint Francis de Sales would echo. "Devotion in a married woman," she said, "is most praiseworthy, but she must never forget that she is a housewife. Sometimes she must leave God at the altar, to serve Him in her housekeeping". An indication of Francesca's Benedictine vocation was in her devotion to the Divine Office. One day in praying the Hours she was interrupted five times in succession. Each time she closed her book, attended to what was asked of her, and then returned to her prayer. After the last interruption she found the words of the antiphon she had been trying to pray written in letters of gold. God rewarded her patience as much as her zeal for the Divine Office.


Enbrethiliel said...


Elena, one of my grandmother's oldest friends told me something similar. She used to be a very active member of a ladies' group in her parish, when her spiritual director told her that all the good she was doing with them would mean nothing if it was at the expense of her husband and children. So she left the group, devoted all her energy to her real vocation, and now, as a widow, looks back on her marriage as the best thing she has ever done.

elena maria vidal said...

That is an excellent example. What does it matter if you gain the whole world but lose your soul?

Anne said...

Wonderful! I had heard the quote before attributed to St. Francis de Sales, but never the story of St. Francesca!

Still, I always wonder if I don't teach my children to let me have my quiet time of prayer uninterrupted each morning (it's only about 15 minutes and my kids are 8-16 years old), that they will become spoiled, thinking that whatever it is they want from me is more important than the needs I have from my time with God.

Most of the time, the things they are asking for, they are capable of taking care of themselves.

Yet, to be interrupted in prayer and then to always return to it, instead of giving up, must be a wonderful virtue.

elena maria vidal said...

I agree, Anne, I think the family needs to learn to respect your prayer time, as a matter of discipline. Interruptions will still happen, but at least everyone should make an effort.

May said...

People have a tendency to forget the married saints, I think.

Enbrethiliel said...


Matterhorn: No kidding! When I was a little girl, I asked my grandmother whether any married man had ever been canonised, and she couldn't name anyone beyond St. Joseph!

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