Vatican City, Apr 12, 2022 / 08:55 am
Pope Francis has advanced the beatification cause of an Italian laywoman who was neglected by her parents, abused by her husband, and suffered prolonged health problems.
Maria Aristea Ceccarelli was born in northeastern Italy in 1883 to an illiterate and hard mother, the second wife of a man who had abandoned his first wife and son. Her father was violent and bad-tempered and had lost his money through gambling.
When her parents did not provide her with an education, Ceccarelli worked odd jobs in order to pay a neighbor for a limited amount of tutoring. She also attended church and received the sacraments on her own initiative.
Before her 18th birthday, Ceccarelli’s parents married her off to a man who treated her like an indentured servant, and physically and verbally abused her.