St. Frances of Rome
Died: March 9, 1440
Canonized: May 29, 1608
Feast Day: March 9
Patron Saint of: motorists, widows, wives
Frances came from a wealthy family. By the age of 11, all she wanted was to join a monastery. Despite that, she was married away by her parents at the age of 12. She was a loyal wife, giving birth to 3 children.
To honor her husband's status within the community, she dressed accordingly; however, unknown to all, she wore a hair shirt underneath as a penance. She remained faithful and devoted to her husband for 40 years until his death. She was "the perfect wife."
Her life was filled with pain and anguish. One of her children died of the plague and second of the three died just one year later. She was a single parent for many years, her husband being banished from the community because of his opposition to the papacy. Upon his return, he was semi-invalid and required Frances' care from day-to-day until his death in 1436. Despite all of this, she remained the perfect wife.
After her husband passed away, she moved into the Olivetan Benedictine Oblates which were affiliated with the Benedictine monks of Monte Oliveto, an order that she founded some years earlier. She was known to be generous to the poor and the sick. Saint Frances told of many visions she was blessed with; most notably was her guardian angel, whom she was permitted to see at all times.