Wednesday, 17 May 2017

# Saints

Blessed Antonia Mesina

The 17th of May is the feast day of Blessed Antonia Mesina. She is the patron saint of Nuoro, Orgosolo,  and rape victims.

Blessed Antonia Messina lived between 1919 and 1935. She was the second oldest child of ten children in a poor family on the Island of Sardinia in Italy. She left school to help with family chores when her mother became ill and bedridden. She was described by her mother as the "flower of my life." She joined the Young Women of Catholic Action organisation at the age ten, encouraging others to do the same. On May 17, 1935, when she was sixteen, she was in a forest with a friend gathering firewood when a teenage boy attempted to rape her. She fought back and defended herself, the boy frustrated, took a rock and thrust many blows to her. She died before help came. The entire town attended the burial and she is considered a martyr of sexual purity and canonised as a saint by Saint Pope John Paul II in 1987. Her story has been compared to that of another martyr of purity, Saint Maria Goretti.

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