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Franca Visalta

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Saint Franca Visalta
Abbess
Born 1170, Piacenza, Italy
Died 1218, Pittoli, Italy
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Canonized Cultus confirmed by Pope Gregory X
Feast April 26

Saint Franca Visalta, also known as Franca of Piacenza, (1170 - 1218) was a Cistercian abbess.

Born in Piacenza, Italy, she became a Benedictine nun in St Syrus Convent at the age of seven and became abbess at a young age. However, she was removed and isolated because of the severe austerites she imposed. Only one nun, Carentia, agreed with Franca's discipline and she moved to a Cistercian convent in Rapallo.

Franca then persuaded her parents to build a Cistercian house in Montelana where she and Carentia both entered. Franca became abbess and maintained the strict austerites on herself, even when her health was failing, and spent most nights praying for several hours in chapel. She later moved the Cistercian community to Pittoli, where she died in 1218. Saint Franca was canonised by Pope Gregory X.[1]

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