READING OF THE DAY: 9 MARCH, 2013

kneeling_in_prayer

“Jesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else.

Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.

The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity–greedy, dishonest, adulterous–or even like this tax collector.

I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’

But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’

I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” – Luke 18:9-14.

SAINT OF THE DAY: 9 MARCH, 2013

Santa_Francesca_Romana_A

Saint Frances of Rome
Widow
(1384-1440)

Frances was born in Rome in 1384. Her parents, of high rank, overruled her desire to become a nun, and when she reached the age of twelve, married her to Lorenzo Ponziano, a Roman noble.

During the forty years of their married life they never had a disagreement.

While spending her days in retirement and prayer, Saint Frances attended promptly to every household duty, saying, A married woman must leave God at the altar to find Him in her domestic cares.

She once found the verse of a psalm, at which she had been four times thus interrupted, completed for her in letters of gold.

Her ordinary food was dry bread, and secretly she would exchange with beggars good food for their hard crusts.

Two of her children died young.
Her son was nine years old when he foretold his father’s death wound and his own coming departure for heaven; and then he returned a year later with an Angel whom she saw clearly.

He said he had come for his little five year-old sister, that she might be placed among the Angels with him.

He left the Angel with her in exchange, to remain always.

During the invasion of Rome in 1413, Lorenzo was banished, his estates confiscated, his house destroyed, and his eldest son taken as a hostage.

Frances saw in these losses only the hand of God, and blessed His holy Name.

When peace was restored Ponziano recovered his estates, and after her husband’s death, Saint Frances founded a Community of Benedictine Oblate nuns.

At the age of forty-three, barefoot and with a cord about her neck she asked admission to the community, and was soon elected Superior.

She lived at all times in the presence of God, and among many visions was given constant sight of her Angel, who shed such a brightness around him that the Saint could read her midnight Office by this light alone.

He shielded her in time of temptation, and directed her in every good act.

But when she fell into some fault, he faded from her sight, and whenever any unsuitable words were spoken before her, he covered his face in shame.

Saint Frances died on the day she foretold, March 9, 1440.