Anna Maria Rosa Gallo was born in March 1715. As a young girl, she often prayed on the Passion of Christ and showed an astonishingly devout nature.
At age 16, her father arranged for her to marry a wealthy neighbor. When she refused, because she wanted to join the Third Order of St. Francis, her father beat her and practically worked her to death. Eventually, a local priest convinced Gallo to give in to his daughter's wishes.
In 1731, Anna Maria took the name Mary Frances of the Five Wounds, in honor of her devotion to Christ's sufferings and to the Virgin Mother, Mary Frances soon became known for her generous work with the sick and poor, spending most of her time in prayerful solitude, while she kept house for a local priest.
Mary Frances is said to have received the stigmata, recreations of Christ's wounds. On Fridays during Lent, while making the Stations of the Cross, she experienced the same pains that Christ endured on his way to Calvary. Several times while receiving Communion, the host transported into Mary Frances' mouth without touching the hands of a priest. One priest witnessed a similar miracle with the Communion wine. She also had a vision of Christ once and heard Him say, "This night you shall be my bride."
Throughout her life, Mary Frances suffered from poor health and was persecuted by her father and other relatives. But she was ready to take on more in Christ's name, fasting, practicing other austerities and praying that God would let her take on the suffering of sinners. She died in 1791. Her home in Naples is a shrine today.
Most merciful Father,
Your Son, Jesus Christ,
the judge of the living and the dead,
in the humility of His first coming
redeemed humanity from sin
and in His glorious return
He will demand an account of every sin.
Grant that our forebears,
our brothers and sisters,
and we, Your servants,
who by the grace of the Holy Spirit
turns back to you in whole-hearted repentance,
may experience Your mercy
and receive the forgiveness of our sins.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
From Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives
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