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Date   July-August 2006 Type  Publisher Home of the Mother
The young girl who died to defend her purity
What is it that gave Marta the strength to die in such a heroic way?

 

A few years ago, a woman knelt before the Blessed Sacrament and told the Lord that this world needed a modern day St. Maria Goretti, a young person who could serve as a model for the youth of today who have forgotten the value of purity.
 
The Young Girl Who Died to Defend Her Purity
 
By Sr. Paqui Morales, S.H.M.
 
 
Martha grew up in a Catholic family, a truly Catholic family. She was a girl who knew God, loved Him and therefore obeyed Him and sought His will. Some people, when they hear that a young person is religious, immediately think that it is someone who is old-fashioned, boring and who doesn’t know how to enjoy life. But this is not true.
 
Martha was 22 years old in 1992. She was in her fifth year of journalism, specializing in image and sound. She was a pretty girl, full of enthusiasm and joy, and very active. Her desire was to convert the world of journalism into something much more pure. She knew how to enjoy life and to do so in a healthy way, because she knew she was young and that she had a great treasure, the treasure of purity, and she took care to preserve it.
 
On January 21st, feast day of St. Agnes, martyr of purity, Martha died. A friend of hers had taken her to her apartment, because she had been suspecting for a few days that someone was following her. She entered the main door of the building but she never reached her apartment. Her murderer was waiting for her in the stairs from the parking lot, in front of the elevators, an area not visible from the street. She was abducted and taken to an open field where he intended to rape her. Martha defended herself as long as her strength endured, which was a while. Her nails were broken and there were marks all over her body caused by metallic objects. According to the police and medical declarations, Martha resisted until the final moment. Fourteen stabs were necessary to end her life. Martha miraculously died a virgin. In the murderer’s trial, other girls who had been raped by this man declared that, if they did not resist, he simply raped them. Yet Martha preferred to die before losing her virginity. According to the declaration of the forensic doctors, Martha had a horrible and very painful death due to the fact that her murderer vented his anger terribly on her.
 
Fourteen years have now passed since this happened and Martha continues to be a model for today’s young girls, especially since the virtue of purity is unfortunately less and less valued and is even ridiculed. That for which a girl of twenty-two years of age gave her life, and was even willing to suffer a real martyrdom, many lose almost unconsciously, because of fashion, thoughtlessness, lack of formation, selfishness, a weakened will, ignorance of what true love is, etc.
 
Many young people think that purity is lost in the moment when virginity is lost, but that is not true. Purity is something so great, and yet so delicate, that it is lost with certain gazes, certain words, gestures, postures, attitudes, and thoughts. Only the strong are able to keep this virtue, only those who are willing to fight a hard battle against the “world” and against themselves. It is the virtue of those who possess themselves and who therefore have the capacity to give themselves completely and freely to God, either directly by consecrating themselves to Him or by forming a family.
 
What gave Martha the strength to die in such a heroic way? Without a doubt, when someone carries out an action of this type, which is so above human strength, it is because they have received the strength from God. Martha led a very strong spiritual life, received spiritual direction and prayed daily. She was strengthened by Jesus and, without doubt, learned the value of purity from the Virgin Mary.
 
On Martha’s tomb is written, “Because we are all just passing through in this world.” This was a phrase that she wrote a week before her death in a letter to the ABC newspaper.
 
Martha teaches to live this life with our eyes fixed upon heaven.
 

©HM Magazine No.131 - July/August 2006