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Feastday: May 17

Patron of martyrs; rape victims

Birth: 1919

Death: 1935

Beatified By: 4 October 1987, Rome, Italy by Pope John Paul II


Blessed Antonia Messina was born on 21 June 1919. She was the second of ten children born to a poor family. After four years of school she took over housekeeping to help her bedridden mother, Grazia. She joined Catholic Action at the age of ten. While gathering firewood on 17 May 1935, she was murdered by a teenager when she resisted his rape attempt. Her body was examined and it was found that she had not been sexually violated. Her feast is celebrated on 17 May


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