Saint Frances of Rome, also known as Santa Francesca Romana, is a beloved patron saint of Rome, housewives, and motorists. She is remembered for her dedication to God and for her numerous charitable works, which she carried out throughout her life.
Frances was born in Rome in 1384 to wealthy parents, Paolo Bussa and Jacobella dei Roffredi. At a young age, she was betrothed to Lorenzo de' Ponziani, and the couple was married in 1396. Despite her young age and wealth, Frances was deeply devoted to God and lived a simple and pious life. She devoted herself to prayer and fasting, and frequently attended Mass.
In 1400, Rome was besieged by the forces of Ladislaus of Naples, and Frances opened her home to the sick and wounded. She nursed the wounded and dying, and even used her own funds to buy food and medicine for them. After the siege ended, Frances continued her charitable work, founding a hospital for the poor and sick in the Trastevere district of Rome. She also founded a religious order, the Oblates of Mary, which was dedicated to serving the poor and sick.
Despite her many accomplishments, Frances faced many challenges in her life. She suffered the loss of several children, and her husband Lorenzo became ill and was unable to work. Frances was forced to sell many of her possessions to support her family, but she never lost her faith or her dedication to God.
Saint Frances of Rome died on March 9th, 1440, and was buried in the Church of Santa Maria Nova in Rome. She was canonized by Pope Paul V in 1608. Her feast day on March 9th was added to the Roman calendar in 1671.
In addition to being the patron saint of Rome, housewives, and motorists, Saint Frances of Rome is also invoked for protection from floods and as a helper during difficult times. Her life serves as a reminder that true happiness and fulfillment can be found in serving others and in devotion to God.