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  • Writer's pictureDeahna Tipton

Double Frances (Part 1)

Updated: May 15, 2021

Deahna Mary Frances Frances. That's not a typo. That's my name. Yep, double Frances. Don't worry, there's a back story.


My first Frances comes from my sweet Great Nonna. She was born in Sicily and came to America in her teens. If you can imagine a little old Italian woman in the kitchen, whipping up a out-of-this-world pot of spaghetti sauce - that was my Nonna.


Even as a child, two things always stood out to me about this beloved Frances of mine:

  1. She was fiercely devoted to her family

  2. She was even more fiercely devoted to the Lord.

It's funny thinking back on her now, because ironically, my memory of her looks a lot like my second Frances. Don't worry, we're getting there.


The Sacrament of Confirmation is a beautiful opportunity for those who are baptized to publicly affirm their belief in the teachings of the Catholic Church. On that day, when we are anointed with oil, the Holy Spirit comes upon us and dwells within us, just as the Spirit did to the apostles on Pentecost. It's a pretty big deal (putting it maybe a little too lightly?).


Part of the process is that you chose a saint that you relate to, aspire to be like, or even just admire. Traditionally that name is added to your own. See where this is going?


I was confirmed when I was 17. I took it seriously for the most part. I did NOT take choosing my confirmation saint seriously.


I CHOSE MY SAINT BECAUSE I WANTED MY "FRANCES" TO COUNT FOR BOTH MY MIDDLE NAME, AND MY CONFIRMATION SAINT. LOL.


It doesn't work like that, folks. You live and you learn, right? But oh, happy fault. it brought me to Frances #2.



My second Frances is Saint Frances of Rome. When I chose her, the extent of my knowledge about her was that she was married and started an orphanage in Rome. In fact, when people asked me about her, that is pretty much verbatim what I would tell them - because that's all I knew.

Guys, SHE IS SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT.


Years passed and I never gave her much thought, other than my now husband teasing that I had the double Frances. He was flirting. Cutie. :)


It was only this year...as in, January of 2021... that I realized that she is my saint, in a way I never could have planned or imagined.


Here's a little bit about her for those of you who don't know:


At the age of eleven, Frances knew she wanted to be a nun. She was perfectly content with the idea of spending the rest of her life in prayer and obedience to the Lord through total consecration of herself.


Turns out, that is what He asked of her but not in the way that she thought.


Her father betrothed her to Lorenzo, a nobleman, at the age of twelve, and he was a loving husband to her (Ghezzi). She had children with him, and spent her life reconciling her desire to serve the poor and love the Lord with everything she had with her God-given responsibilities as a wife and a mother.


SPOILER ALERT: she did it. SHE DID BOTH.


This was painfully abbreviated but bear with me and please read more about her if you are interested. I also thought this article about her was fantastic. It would be worth your time.



A couple things here - I never wanted to be a nun, and I'm lucky if I fit in some prayer time in the morning before the kids get up. :)


But you know what...what she was wanting to do, and what she did - living her life totally for God AND her husband AND her kids - I want that too. And this is why she rocked my whole world.


Ever since I really truly gave my life to God at the beginning of this year, I have been almost singularly focused on how the heck I could possibly be a saint with all of the distractions, all of my flaws, and all of the responsibilities I have. My life isn't meant to be me sitting in front of a cross praying for the rest of my life.


It seems so impossible to me...but SHE did it. So why can't I? Why can't you?


More to say on this but Husband says this is looking a little long for one post. On to PART 2! If you want.







Works Cited:

Ghezzi, Bert. “Saint Frances of Rome, 1384–1440.” Loyola Press, 11 Aug. 2020, www.loyolapress.com/catholic-resources/saints/saints-stories-for-all-ages/saint-frances-of-rome-1384-1440.


Image credit: Frances of Rome giving alms by Giovanni Battista Gaulli, 1675. Public Domain via Wikimedia.







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