Today at the end of the general audience in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Benedict spoke to a group of nuns and lay people, who were present to honor the memory of Sr. Maria Laura Mainetti, a religious sister who was killed by Satanists.
That Italian sister, said the Holy Father, "with a total giving of self, sacrificed her life while praying for those who were attacking her".
The murder of Sr. Maria Laura happened during the night of June 6-7, 2000 in the small town of Chiavenna, Italy. The sister was stabbed to death by three girls, two of whom were 17, while the third was 16.
Sister Maria Laura was well known in the small town she lived in for her social and charitable commitment to young dispossessed and poor people. Consequently, the three girls were able to draw her into an ambush by saying that a pregnant girl was in serious need of her help.
After luring Sr. Maria Laura to their ambush, the girls stabbed the sister to death as a sacrifice to Satan. As Sr. Maria Laura died, she found the strength to pray for her killers and forgive them.
Police investigators discovered the satanic plot and arrested the three girls 22 days after the sister’s murder.
The Congregation for the Causes of Saints recently recognized the death of the religious as martyrdom, thus opening the way to her beatification.