Aunt Maria Pura is a pious woman. Religious practice is deeply rooted in her life: everyday she goes to the first mass in the morning and she confesses regularly. The knowledge of the holy texts makes her feel strong and secure. The weight of the Church’s condemnation is a stigma. Surely, she never gets to the point of questioning miracles, oracles or prophecies or Satan, even if all these things oppose reason decisively.
During times of crisis she always knows what Saint to call upon for help: she has one for every occasion.
St. Geraldo Maiella who intercedes for pregnant women;
St. Zita, for the fatigue of the housework;
for desperate and difficult wedding cases, St. Rita da Cascia;
St. Margherita da Cortona, whose lover refused to marry her even after she gave birth to a child, for the unwed mothers;
St. Elizabeth of Hungary for problems with in-laws;
St. Elena, whose husband put an end to their marriage in order to marry a Roman princess, for cases of divorce;
St. Alfonso Maria de Liguori, one of the busiest among the Saints that the Church has ever known, for those who basically struggle to make a good use of their time.
“And as long as the house keys are misplaced, St. Antony will never miss his devotees” she uses to say.
She can never get enough. And when someone tries to talk to her about the world outside, Maria Pura’s laughing expression is immediately dark.
Some days, although I pass in front of her, she doesn’t see me. She stands there, immobile, with open arms, as though in expectancy of stigmata …
Saint Anthony’s face fills