9 Mar – Memorial for St. Frances of Rome, religious
St. Frances (1384-1440) was an aristocrat by birth. She married at the age of 12, and her marriage lasted 40 years. She was a mother of three before becoming a widow. She joined the Benedictines, and was the foundress of the ‘Oblates of the Tor de’ Specchi’ (Collatines). She is said to have been guided by an archangel only she could see. She spent her life and fortune, both as a laywoman and a religious, in the service of the sick and the poor, including the founding of the first home in Rome for abandoned children. She dictated 97 ‘Visions’, in which she saw many of the pains of Hell.
On her feast day, priests bless cars due to her patronage of cars and drivers. Frances certainly never drove, but legend says that when she went abroad at night, her guardian angel went before her, lighting the road with a headlight-live lantern, keeping her safe in her travels.
Prayer to St. Frances
Dear Frances, you were an exemplary wife, ever faithful to your husband. After his death, you founded and governed the Congregation of Mount Olivet, revealing your great devotion to our Lord’s Passion. Your faith in Angels was rewarded by frequent visions of them. Please pray for Catholics in our day that they may be as dedicated to God as you were. Amen.
– Patron Saint Index
“You must love your neighbour as yourself”
I grew up in a 3-room HDB flat, living with my grandaunt and her son, my uncle. We had no real consistent means of income and my grandaunt made her money by being a babysitter, looking after about five children at any one time.
Despite the fact that we were rather poor, we had wonderfully generous neighbours. I remember them bringing food over to share with us on an almost daily basis. Another laundered and ironed our clothes daily. Yet another came over to spend time with my grandaunt, spending time with her and listening to her share her daily woes.
During the 30-plus years I spent there, I felt the love that our neighbours had for us and knew that whatever the circumstances we had to face, we had their support. In fact, whenever we had any financial difficulty, the neighbours readily loaned us money.
In today’s Gospel, our Lord Jesus talks about the two greatest commandments; to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and to love our neighbour as we love ourselves.
The bible has many examples about how we should be interacting and helping our neighbours. These passages all talk about how our behaviour should reflect our faith, and that this faith should not be theoretical.
Such an example were my former neighbours. They never needed to tell us they cared, or even what they thought about us. All they did was to show us, every day. Even though they were all not Christians, they demonstrated what it was like to show Christian love.
(Today’s Oxygen by Paul Wee)
Prayer: Father God, we pray that we will learn what it means to love God; by loving our neighbours. Help us to resist the temptation to keep our faith in our minds, and to live it everyday.
Thanksgiving: We thank you for showing us how to manifest our faith and love in You. Thank You for helping us know the way to heaven.