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April 26

St Franca Visalta - April 26

Saint Franca Visalta 

Abbess, Foundress

(1170 – 1218)

“Be obedient, charitable, meek and humble toward each other.”

Saint Franca Visalta on her deathbed speaking to her nuns

Saint’s Life Story

Her Early Life  

Franca was born 1170 in Piacenza, Italy.  In 1177, at age seven, she was placed in the Benedictine convent of Saint Syrus at Piacenza, Italy. At age fourteen, Franca entered the Order. 

Elected Abbess 

She was elected abbess as a young nun, but was removed from office due to her rigid interpretation of the Rule and due to the severe austerities she imposed. Franca became isolated from most of her sisters.

Sister Carentia

Nevertheless, one of the nuns, Sister Carentia, agreed with her discipline. When Carentia entered the Cistercian novitiate at Rapallo, Italy, she convinced her parents to build a Cistercian house at Montelana, Italy. Franca became abbess of the community, to which both she and Franca had entered. Later, Franca moved the Cistercian community to Pittoli, Italy.

Franca consistently maintained the severe penances she imposed on herself, even in the face of poor health. She spent most nights in the chapel, praying for hours. 

Death

In 1218, Franca died of natural causes in Pittoli, Italy. Her relics were transferred to Piacenza, Italy.

Born :                 1170 in Piacenza, Italy

Died:                  1218 in Pittoli, Italy

Beatified:          Unknown

Canonized:       September 21, 1273 by Gregory X (cultus confirmation)

Feast Day:         April 26; April 25 in some calendars

Patron Saint:    Against Eye Problems/Disorders; Against Nightmares

Source:

Reflection

Saint Franca Visalta as a young abbess, you faced rejection when your fellow nuns kicked you out due to your rigid interpretation of the Rule. However, that “failure” did not stop you for going on to become abbess again with Sister Carentia. You did not expect any one of your sisters to take on any more severe penances and hours of prayer you imposed on yourself.

Do you do everything you ask of others to do in the Lord’s name? Remember, like Saint Franca Visalta, we cannot expect others to do anything in God’s name that we do not also do ourselves. 

Prayers

God, you inspired Saint Franca Visalta to strive for a live of perfect penances with long hours of prayer and so attain Your Kingdom at the end of her pilgrimage on Earth. Strengthen us through her intercession that may increase our penances and prayer to rejoicing in the way of your love. 

Saint Franca Visalta, pray for us. Amen.

Saint Links 

Catholic Fire – St. Franca of Piacenza: Cisterican Nun and Foundress

Catholic Online – St. Franca Visalta

CatholicSaints.Info – Saint Franca Visalta

The American Catholic – Saint of the Day Quote: Saint Franca Visalta

Wikipedia – Franca Visalta

Video Link

No Videos of Saint Franca Visalta are available