Today is also the Optional Memoria of St Frances of Rome, patron saint of Benedictine Oblates. She was born into an aristocratic family and was married – much against her will – at the age of twelve; the couple had three children. With her sister-in-law, she visited the sick and poor and, when famine struck, turned the family home into a hospital. In 1425 she established a new monastic community for pious women who did not live in community and who made no formal vows, associated with a nearby Benedictine monastery. She is specially revered for her care of the sick and the poor, and for her devotion to her guardian angel.

We pray today for all Benedictine Oblates, and may St Frances of Rome pray for us all. May God bless you.