Albertina - what an amazing girl! She was born in São Luís, Brazil on the 11th of April 1919. From a young age she had a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and also to St. Aloysius Gonzaga, who is known as a model of purity and is the patron saint of her home town.
Sadly, on June 15, 1931 one of Albertina’s father's employees, tried to rape her. She fought back, and when the attacker realized he would fail and she would identify him, he killed her. This is such a cruel story – she was only 12 years old. Albertina is a martyr and a Saint, who defended her purity, even though it meant death. She was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI on October 20, 2007.
It is important to remember that Blessed Albertina is not considered a Saint solely because she fought back against an assault. Yes she is a martyr, but she was also beatified because during her short life, she developed a great sensitivity in her relationship with God and with the others. There are many holy people who have experience abuse, and could not fight back. This does not mean that they are less holy, or that God loves them less, rather it means they are called to be witnesses of Christ’s suffering in a different way to Blessed Albertina. They are called to be Saints by their heroic example – and they really are incredible examples of how to be strong in what can be an unjust world.
Blessed Albertina is not only a great patron of purity – but she is also a patron for mercy and justice. We celebrate her feast day on the 15th of June.
Through your intercession may I find the happiness
that come from persevering on the way
of living the values of the Gospel. Amen.