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Bl. Francis of Siena

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Death: ~1328

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Francis Arrighetto (Patrizzi), of Siena, Italy, deferred his plans to become a hermit in order to remain with his widowed, blind mother. His deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary prompted him to frequent a cherished image of Mary in his home, repeatedly kneeling before it to say the Hail Mary. Following his mother's death, Francis entered the Servite Order. In his cell, he erected an oratory for an image of the Blessed Mother, which he visited so often that he sometimes fell asleep before it. As a priest, Francis likened what he experienced when the consecrated Host was on the altar to what Moses experienced in the Holy of Holies. He was able to preach extemporaneously when required, with no other preparation than a prayer on his knees before a crucifix or an image of Mary and the reception of a blessing from whatever other priest was present. It was while on his way to preach that Francis collapsed along a road. When a peasant woman brought the dying priest a bouquet of roses, he dragged himself to a nearby painting of the Blessed Virgin to present it to her. He died soon afterward.

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