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Daily Catholic Question

Is there a patron saint for the sterile?

The National Enquirer carried an article about a saint named Maria Francesca.... Who was this saint?

In Butler's Lives of the Saints and in other dictionaries of the saints you will find this saint under St. Mary Frances of Naples. Apparently her father, Francis Gallo, was not only hot-tempered but also rough and brutal to both Mary Frances and her mother.

Eventually he was persuaded to allow her to become a Franciscan tertiary. In the beginning she lived at home and devoted herself to prayer and works of piety. Later she took over the management of a priest's household. She was something of a mystic and mystical phenomena were associated with her.

She is said to have received the stigmata—the wounds of Jesus—in her own body.

What is her connection with sterile women? The Enquirer seems to indicate that many miracles involving impossible pregnancies were worked through her intercession previous to her canonization in 1867.

Click here for the rest of today's answer

Friday, November 23, 2012
Daily Catholic Question for 11/22/2012 Daily Catholic Question for 11/24/2012


Maria Goretti: One of the largest crowds ever assembled for a canonization—250,000—symbolized the reaction of millions touched by the simple story of Maria Goretti. 
<p>She was the daughter of a poor Italian tenant farmer, had no chance to go to school, never learned to read or write. When she made her First Communion not long before her death at age 12, she was one of the larger and somewhat backward members of the class. </p><p>On a hot afternoon in July, Maria was sitting at the top of the stairs of her house, mending a shirt. She was not quite 12 years old, but physically mature. A cart stopped outside, and a neighbor, Alessandro, 18 years old, ran up the stairs. He seized her and pulled her into a bedroom. She struggled and tried to call for help. “No, God does not wish it," she cried out. "It is a sin. You would go to hell for it.” Alessandro began striking at her blindly with a long dagger. </p><p>She was taken to a hospital. Her last hours were marked by the usual simple compassion of the good—concern about where her mother would sleep, forgiveness of her murderer (she had been in fear of him, but did not say anything lest she cause trouble to his family) and her devout welcoming of Viaticum, her last Holy Communion. She died about 24 hours after the attack. </p><p>Her murderer was sentenced to 30 years in prison. For a long time he was unrepentant and surly. One night he had a dream or vision of Maria, gathering flowers and offering them to him. His life changed. When he was released after 27 years, his first act was to go to beg the forgiveness of Maria’s mother. </p><p>Devotion to the young martyr grew, miracles were worked, and in less than half a century she was canonized. At her beatification in 1947, her mother (then 82), two sisters and a brother appeared with Pope Pius XII on the balcony of St. Peter’s. Three years later, at her canonization, a 66-year-old Alessandro Serenelli knelt among the quarter-million people and cried tears of joy.</p> American Catholic Blog Lord, may the medals we wear be constant reminders of the lives they depict. While wearing them, may we be blessed through the saints’ intercession and protected from harm. Help us to continue to spread the messages of Jesus and Mary and the saints and angels.

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