Middle Age. Rome 14th century. The Holy City is undergoing a material and spiritual decay that is about to sweep it away forever. It is the century the Pope leaves Rome for Avignon, a century of bloody clashes among baronial families, of famine, of plague, of fear of being invaved by foreign enemies. Above all it is the period of the Great Schism. Exhausted by hunger and war, the population of Rome hardly reaches twenty thousand people. The town has lost its magnificent aspect and looks like a village now. Francesca Bussa, the future Saint Frances of Rome, was born in 1384 from a noble Roman family. The docu-film reconstructs the most important aspects of her life: her early vocation, the forced marriage when only twelve years old, the difficult relationship with her husband, the political war that involved the whole family, but also the concrete signs of God's presence through her faith. She was the living sign that God never leaves His children alone. In Rome she had limitless charity for the poor and suffering ones, made physical and spiritual healings, even miracles, like children and people who resuscitated after her prayers. She had beautiful mystic visions but also terrible tortures from the devils. Although fully belonging to Medieval Times, Frances is a very modern figure, still able to speak to us today. The sufferings she had around her can also be found in our contemporary society. Material and spiritual sufferings were everywhere: diseases, depression, suicides, violence within the families and the society. She approached them always keeping God and the love to the neibourgh in the first place, but at the same time she never stopped being a wife, a mother, taking caring of the whole family house. She was an obedient woman, but nobody could stop her from going out even by night if someone needed her help. She was humble but did not hesitate to address direct words to the Pope to call him to his responsibility for the unity of Church. The docu-film includes interviews to Alessandra Bartolomei Romagnoli, professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, among the maximum experts of St. Frances of Rome, and to Fr. Roberto Nardin, of the Congregation of the Benedictine Monks of Monte Uliveto to whom Frances was both mother and daughter. The interviews enlighten the dramatic historical period of Rome and of the whole Christianity of that time. They will stress the important contribution given to the Church by the European medieval women mystics, of whom Saint Frances of Rome was one, near other important women saints like Saint Bridget of Sweden and Catherine of Siena.

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