A message from Father Nick 2 (29th March 2020)
St Frances of Rome: a saint for our time?
The saints’ companionship is obviously a major feature of our life – after all, we too are included in the “Communion of Saints”. This is quite simply our extended family. Our canonised saints, and above all our patron saints, have a special place in our affection. I offer the following piece of news without further comment.
A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by a lady from Flintshire – Anne – who wanted to know if we had in Ross a relic of our patron saint, Frances of Rome. A day or so later, at the North Gwent Deanery station mass in Abergavenny, Archbishop George called me aside in a conspiratorial way. He told me that he was giving me a present. This was not for myself, but for the parish of Ross on Wye. It was a relic of St Frances of Rome, and he suggested that we contact a Birmingham firm to have a suitable reliquary made for it.
Hearing about this, Anne planned to come and venerate the relic. Alas, her planned trip was prevented by the spread of Covid-19. Instead, she sent me a letter to explain her interest.
“A few months ago,” she said, “I had a dream about the relic of St Frances of Rome, whom I just thought at the time was the patron saint of automobiles and widows. However, I have recently discovered that she was alive during times of plague in Rome, which was caused by famine and flooding at that time. It was also a time of lockdown in Rome, and wolves roamed the streets. I discovered this just before we heard about the Corona-virus. This is possibly why this saint is important in our times right now…”
As I say, no further comment. This only: “St Frances of Rome, pray for us.”