Today we commemorate Saint Mary Francisca of the 5 wounds, a religious who received the stigmata

Jasjot Singh

Every March 21, the Church remembers Saint Mary Francisca of the Five Wounds, an Italian nun who bore the wounds of Christ on her own body: those on her feet, hands and side. For this reason, tradition remembers this saint by evoking, from her name, the wounds of Our Lord. Today, several centuries after her death, her remains remain incorrupt.

of humble birth

Santa María Francisca’s first name was Anna María Gallo, a woman born in Naples (Italy), the daughter of merchants who lived in the old Spanish quarter of the city, known for its precariousness. God granted Maria Francisca the gift of prophecy, as well as the gift of sharing the pain of the Passion and Death of Jesus. The Neapolitans profess a great devotion to him and attribute to him having interceded for them during the bombings suffered in the Second World War. As a sign of that favor, the neighborhood where she lived remained untouched during the attacks, despite her fierceness.

Anna María Gallo was born on October 6, 1715. She began to work when she was very young, forced by her father who owned a yarn and haberdashery workshop; Meanwhile, her mother, a very pious woman, read her books about the Christian faith and took her to pray at the church of Santa Lucía de la Cruz. The local priest, admired for her piety and knowledge of her catechism, allowed her to make her First Communion at the age of 8 and after a year she became a children’s catechist.

a violent father

When she turned 16, Maria Francisca’s father decided to commit her in marriage to a rich young man, but the young woman refused to accept the commitment – she had promised God to remain single and a virgin to dedicate herself to the spiritual life and the salvation of the souls-.

The father rejected such a wish and punished her by locking her up at home. As if that were not enough, he constantly abused her by whipping her and feeding her only bread and water. Those days were very hard for Maria Francisca, but, at the same time, they became an occasion of greater closeness with the suffering heart of Jesus, with whom she shared her pain. Maria Francisca’s mother, on her own account, managed to get a Franciscan priest to convince her husband that her daughter’s claims were not immature and were born from a heart that loved God.

Tertiary

On September 8, 1731, María Francisca received the habit of the Franciscan tertiary order and, contrary to what could be expected, she asked to be allowed to live in the family home as a nun. In her home, young Ella took care of the housework and the simplest tasks. She, through them, was penetrating more and more her soul with God, in service and prayer, making the simple an offering of love. Maria Francisca began to fall into ecstasy, absorbed in the meditation of the sorrows of the Lord. Several times, absorbed in her mystical rapture, the Virgin Mary appeared to her to comfort her and make some spiritual requests.

Mysticism

After the death of her mother, the saint left the family home and moved to the countryside in the company of other tertiaries. She remained there for the next 38 years of her life, until her death. She was a life dedicated to prayer, penance and sacrifice, of constant zeal to rescue souls from purgatory and achieve the conversion of sinners. It is at this stage where she would receive the stigmata of Christ.

Saint Mary Francisca of the Five Wounds died a saintly death on October 6, 1791. She was declared venerable by Pope Pius VII on May 18, 1803; she was later blessed by Gregory XVI (November 12, 1843) and finally proclaimed a saint by Pope Pius IX, on June 29, 1867.

In 1901 she was declared co-patron saint of the city of Naples together with San Gennaro.

Do you want to know more about the people who have received the stigmata of Christ? You can read this article from the Catholic Encyclopedia: https://ec.aciprensa.com/wiki/Estigmas_místicos

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