Three Connecticut Natives and Saint Francesca Romana
March 9, 2007
The Monastery of Tor De’ Specchi of the Benedictine Oblates of Saint Francesca Romana is open to the public but one day a year on March 9th, the feast of this most Roman of saints. Together with Sister Barbara Matazzaro, Paul Zalonski, and I made our pilgrimage there this morning. The sun was shining brightly and the day was glorious.
The inner cloister was bathed in light. The lemon trees looked like something out of a medieval illuminated manuscript.
We made our way through the monastery, stopping to admire the famous frescoes that depict the life of Saint Francesca Romana. In the chapel with its magnificent choir stalls, Holy Mass was being celebrated.
This is one of twenty–seven frescoes depicting the life, miracles and visions of Saint Francesca Romana. This image depicts a miracle performed by Saint Francesca. A man named Gianni called for her help when surgeons decided to amputate one of his legs due to a serious infection. She applied ointment to the leg and it suddenly healed. In the left section of the composition, Santa Francesca gestures toward Gianni who lies in bed with his leg exposed; his bandages are below the bed. At the right of the composition, Gianni kneels to the Saint outside the doors of her convent.
The Ointment of Saint Francesca Romana is still made at the monastery; it is blessed as a sacramental for spiritual and physical healing. We were each able to obtain a little container of the blessed ointment and a small bottle of Acqua di Santa Francesca Romana as well.