Who was she?
Maria Assunta had lived a life like so many others. Nothing special, nothing extraordinary… But what she lived, she lived it in depth!
Born on August 20 1878 in the mountain village of Force in the Italian region of Marches, she shared in the simple, poor life of hard labour of her people.
One day, she heard this call: “Come and follow me". The family bonds were strong. Her parents were opposed and her departure was not easy.
She knew that the call of God was demanding. At 20, she confidently left all, left her native village behind and became a Franciscan Missionary of Mary.
She began a new life – which seemed difficult in the beginning – but she let God work in her, like a child marveling to see her life transformed by grace.
Who are they?
We present to you
the life of seven
Franciscan Missionaries of Mary
put to death for their faith in Christ,
together with several
bishops, priests, seminarians
and lay persons in China,
on July 9, 1900 at Taiyuan Fu.
Why are we speaking of them today?
Because they are martyrs, that is witnesses who gave their lives to Jesus and to his Gospel.
Today, as yesterday, the sap that nourishes and unites the martyrs of former times with those of the present is the same:
“I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
because you have hidden from the wise and intelligent
what you have revealed to the little ones.”
April 7, 1905 – a young FMM, called Maria Assunta, died a victim of typhus. She was 27 years old and was a missionary in China for just less than a year. Her sisters surrounded her praying, when suddenly they smelt a perfume of violets.
Something extraordinary was happening...
It was a sign! But why a sign?
The life of Jesus, testimony
of his love of the Father,
and his message
of a universal fraternity,
built on justice and mercy,
striving for peace.
These men and women, witnesses of yesterday or today, have the same basic attitudes: open to God, attentive to the Spirit, committed to serving others, filled with true love.
To know these seven FMM martyrs can help us better understand God's ways in our own lives and affirm in us a simple but real commitment to the service of the Gospel.