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Blessed Mary of Pisa

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Ave Maria Hour Radio Show

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Rebroadcast of the long running radio program, "The Ave Maria Hour", a presentation of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. www.AtonementFriars.org

Blessed Mary of Pisa -- More often than not, the women saints that the Church venerates have been cloistered virgins. Blessed Mary of Pisa also founded a religious order, but like St. Elizabeth Seton, she did so as a widow. Unlike our American saint, she had been married twice and borne many children.

Catherine Mancini belonged to a distinguished family in Pisa, Italy, in the days when the great Italian cities were engaged in civil war against each other. The story is told of her that when she was only five, she had a sort of vision of the torturing of one Peter Gambacorta. He had been accused of political conspiracy and sentenced to be hanged. The legend says that the child, on experiencing the vision, prayed so hard for Peter that the rope by which he was being hanged broke, whereupon the judges commuted his death penalty. Our Lady then appeared to Catherine, the story continues, and told her to say seven Our Fathers and Hail Marys for Gambacorta every day, for he was going to become her benefactor in the years to come. 

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